Ian will be collated and installed as Archdeacon of Lynn at 3.30pm on Sunday 9 September in Norwich Cathedral. All are welcome to attend the service.
Born in Southend, Essex, Ian had a teaching career spanning 15 years with two Deputy Headships, first in Stanford, then at a Service School in Germany, where both his children were born.
“I was very happy teaching and a Headship was looming. I also trained and served as a Reader (with the strict understanding from my wife, Caroline, that I would never be a vicar!). But two significant things happened. I was leading services during the first Gulf War and the platitudes simply wouldn’t do when members of your congregation were heading into battle. At the same time people had started suggesting that I should go into ministry. I had always felt my calling was to teaching.
“Then quite simply one school day, where it felt everything was going right, I sensed God clearly saying that this chapter was over and so I went forward, quite reluctantly, into the process of ordination. But of course, by the end of the process God had changed mine and Caroline’s hearts!”
Trained at Cranmer Hall, St John’s, Durham, Ian was ordained in 1995 and has served for the whole of his ministry in the Diocese of Norwich. Beginning as a curate in Mattishall, he moved to the Earsham group of parishes in South Norfolk in 1998 prior to becoming the Vicar of Oulton Broad in 2006. Last year he came to Norwich as the Interim Vicar of St Peter Mancroft. He is also Chapter Canon of Norwich Cathedral.
Speaking about the appointment, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James says:
“Ian Bentley has been an exemplary parish priest in this diocese. Wherever he has served the Church has grown under his care and leadership. He is highly esteemed by his fellow clergy and has the pastoral wisdom and good sense which will serve us well in his new work as an Archdeacon. Please pray for Ian and his wife Caroline and their family as he prepares for his new responsibilities.”
“I am surprised, humbled and thrilled to be given the opportunity to serve as Archdeacon of Lynn. I started my ministerial life as a curate in the Archdeaconry and it is great to be returning. I have loved every job I have been entrusted with in the Diocese of Norwich over some 20 years and I look forward to working together with the clergy and their congregations and taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to their parishes in my new role.”
Ian Bentley succeeds John Ashe who served as Archdeacon of Lynn since 2009 and whose farewell service took place in Norwich Cathedral on 11 March.