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Former Bishop of Lichfield Keith Sutton dies aged 82

A former Bishop of Lichfield has died.

A portrait of former Bishop of Lichfield Keith Sutton painted by Andrew Festing

A portrait of former Bishop of Lichfield Keith Sutton painted by Andrew Festing

The Right Revd Keith Sutton served in the role between 1984 and 2003.

He moved to Cornwall following his retirement before relocating to the Isle of Wight to be closer to his family.

He died, aged 82, at a care home in Surrey where he had been living with dementia for several years.

The current Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “My condolences and prayers are with Keith’s family at this time.

“Keith served the people and churches of Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Black Country as diocesan bishop for 19 years. He is very fondly remembered by many people and his legacy treasured.”

Before coming to Lichfield, Bishop Keith was Bishop of Kingston from 1978 to 1984. He had strong links with Africa and was sent as a special envoy by the Archbishop of Canterbury to support Archbishop Desmond Tutu in apartheid-torn South Africa in the 1980s.

David Brown, who served as Lay Assistant from 1992 until 2003, said: “Bishop Keith was a missionary bishop who had served in Uganda with the Church Mission Society for several years.

“His ministry was shaped by a profound impulse to draw people into Christian faith, and to nurture those already on this path. He made this his priority despite the organisational demands of episcopacy that too easily stood in the way.

“Warm-hearted to all, he had an unusual ability to gain the confidence and trust of those he met. A fellow bishop once told me he was ‘the saint within the House of Bishops’. He was a man ‘of grace and truth’.”

He is survived by his three sons Mark, Paul and Andrew, and his daughter Jacqui.

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