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‘Inspirational’ Suffolk Bishop dies two years after retirement

The Right Reverend Clive Young
The Right Reverend Clive Young

A ‘gentle, wise and inspirational’ Suffolk Bishop has died just two years after retiring from one of the most senior Church of England roles in the county.

The Right Reverend Clive Young served Suffolk for 14 years as Suffragen Bishop of Dunwich, the second most senior Anglican clergyman in the county.

He retired just two years ago when hundreds of people gathered to bid him farewell during a moving service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Bishop Clive, who had retired to Herefordshire with his wife Sue, died on Wednesday after failing to recover from major surgery, aged 67.

He had devoted more than four decades of service to God and the Church of England.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “Although I have only recently arrived in Suffolk I have known Clive since 1996 when I became vicar of the Isle of Dogs and he was on the appointment panel as Archdeacon of Hackney.

“From then on I experienced his deep wisdom and care for which he is so widely known in Suffolk. His support became very personal when he helped Jutta and I in our plans to be married. I feel great sadness for Clive’s wife Sue too, that he has died so soon after his retirement.”

The Rt Rev Nigel Stock, a former Bishop of the diocese and now Bishop at Lambeth where he works closely with the Archbishop of Canterbury, knew Bishop Clive as a wise and gentle colleague.

He said: “It was with immense sadness that I heard of the death of my gentle, wise and delightful colleague of six years.

“The loss to us all of Clive’s gifts of music, literary depth and sense of history is very great. These were the things that produced inspirational quiet days and retreats.

“Of course our prayers and heartfelt sympathy go out to Sue, who with Clive was so kind and hospitable to several generations of ordinands and readers in training and many others. I am sure that Clive is now bound up with the risen Lord Jesus whom he served so faithfully.”

The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, a former Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “Clive was the best colleague anyone could wish for and, more than that, a very good friend. He will be hugely missed in Suffolk.”

Martin Phillips-Last, priest in charge of Leiston, said: “I will always smile with gratitude for the fathering way in which Bishop Clive inspired belief in myself and will always be thankful for his strong yet gentle encouragement on my own journey to ordination.”

Bishop Young went to school at King Edward VI Grammar in Chelmsford, Essex, and then to St John’s College in Durham.

He was ordained as a deacon in 1972 and had served in London as rural dean of Tower Hamlets, vicar of St Andrew in Holborn and archdeacon of Hackney before coming to Suffolk in 1999.

Bishop Young retired after a cathedral service in Bury St Edmunds on 12 May 2013.

When he retired he said he hoped to continue to be of service to the Church of England.

The title of Bishop of Dunwich dates from the 7th Century before the cathedral and most of the town was lost to the sea. The modern use of the title dates from 1934, when it was given to the Bishop of St Edmundsbury’s deputy, or suffragen bishop.