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Parents of the new Bishop of Chelmsford 'proud' of son
Bishop Stephen Cottrell at the entrance to Chelmsford Cathedral
Bishop Stephen has begun his duties as head of the Chelmsford diocese

The parents of the new Bishop of Chelmsford said seeing their son become head of the diocese was very emotional.

The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, who was born and raised in Leigh-on-Sea, was installed at Chelmsford Cathedral on Saturday, 27 November.

"I'm pleased because he's achieving what he wants to achieve," his father John told BBC Essex.

"I'm just full of emotion really, I can't put into words my feelings. It's something deeper than words."

"It was unreal almost. I was almost standing aside from myself and watching it and thinking 'can this be happening to my son'. It was glorious.

"I don't think he ever had any dreams of being a Bishop, I think he just wanted to be a good pastor and the road has led him to here," he added.

Fifty-two year-old Bishop Stephen is the 10th Bishop of Chelmsford, a role which sees him returning to his home county, which he described in his sermon as "'God's own county".

The ceremony, which lasted over two hours, was attended by hundreds of representatives from across the diocese, which covers Essex and five London Boroughs.

There were also Bishops from around Britain and as far afield as Sweden and Kenya, the Catholic Bishop of Brentwood, the Right Reverend Thomas MacMahon, and representatives from other faiths.

During his inaugural sermon Bishop Stephen spoke of how thousands of people are growing up having little or nothing to do with the Christian Church.

The thing that I'm most proud about is that despite all the grandeur and pomp, Stephen is just the same
Eileen Cottrell, mother of Bishop Stephen

He also described a "disease in our society" where many people do not know their neighbour's name.

Bishop Stephen's mother, Eileen, said she was left "overwhelmed" by the whole occasion.

"The thing that I'm most proud about is that despite all the grandeur and pomp, Stephen is just the same," she said.

"He's no different now than when he started out in Forest Hill.

"He's always wanted to talk with the people in the fish and chip shop and chat to the women on the counter at Sainsbury's and he's no different now."

She added it was great to have her son 'back home'.

"On a personal level, it makes us feel very, very happy, because we've followed him around the country," she said.

"We've been up to Huddersfield and got stuck on the M1 many times, so the fact that he's just half and hour's drive away [is great]."

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22 Mar 10 |  Essex
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04 Dec 09 |  Religion & Ethics
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