Rector of Leeds to retire after nine years at minster

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The rector of Leeds Minster has told of how he will miss the “vibrancy and buzz” of the city as he prepares to step down from his role.

Rev Canon Tony Bundock is to retire as Rector of Leeds after nine years - during which he saw the city centre church upgraded from Leeds Parish Church to Leeds Minster. The title was given in 2012 to mark the church’s importance to the city and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Canon Bundock said the event stood out as one of the highlights of his time at the minster. He said: “One of the most memorable was the minster-making ceremony in 2012 and the visit of the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy who wrote a poem for the occasion.”

It was also in 2012 that Rev Bundock took a three-month sabbatical to explore the links between monasteries in the Egyptian desert and Celtic spirituality - which involved him trekking on a camel across the Sinai desert. Canon Bundock, who previously served as Rector of Seacroft for 11 years, said: “Other highlights have been the special service in 2007 for the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, and more recently the Nelson Mandela civic commemoration last December.”

He also said it was a “great privilege” to be asked to bless new war memorials for Leeds Rifles at the Battle of Somme site in 2006 and for the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at Passchendaele in 2007.

During his 20 years in Leeds, he has also been chair of governors at four Leeds schools and was a founding governor of the David Young Community Academy schools.

He added: “I will miss the vibrancy and ‘buzz’ of Leeds as well as its rich diversity.”

In retirement, he will serve in the Diocese of Oxford as ‘House of Duty’ team vicar. His last Sunday at Leeds Minster will be October 12.

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