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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Bishop Jim dies at 67
Bishop Jim Thompson (courtesy Bath and Wells Diocese)
The former bishop had retired from Bath and Wells in 2001
The former bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Jim Thompson, has died.

The 67-year-old died while on a cruise off the Spanish coast.

"Bishop Jim" was known to millions as a regular contributor to Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

A statement issued on behalf of his wife Sally said: "Bishop Jim died early this morning while on holiday on Minerva II after a very short illness."

The Bishop held the post for 10 years. He retired in December 2001 and went to live on Exmoor.

Theology graduate

The present bishop of Bath and Wells, the Right Reverend Peter Price, expressed his sadness at the death of "one of the most respected and imaginative bishops of the Church of England".

"Bishop Jim was a fine and generous human being, a loving father and a great pastor to his people," he said.

"He was very much loved in the diocese and he will be sadly missed."

The bishop was born in Birmingham in 1936 and was a Cambridge theology graduate.

He trained first as an accountant, becoming a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountancy, before going to Cuddesdon Theological College.

He was ordained deacon in 1966 and was priested in 1967.

He was a curate in East Ham and later became chaplain to Cuddesdon. In 1971 he became team rector of Thamesmead.

He became Area Bishop of Stepney in 1978 and Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1991.

Bishop Jim leaves his wife Sally, a son and daughter and two grandchildren.


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