The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Right Rev Dr Rowan Williams, preached the sermon at St Nicholas Parish Church in Bromham on Sunday for a special service to mark the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Bishop Bill Ind’s ordination as a priest and the 25th anniversary of his consecration as a bishop.

The church was packed for the Celebration of Ministry – New and Old – Ordained and Lay’ service and the new Bishop of Ramsbury, the Right Rev Edward Condry, presided.

On the day after Michaelmas, the Archbishop spoke about the role of Angels and praised Bishop Bill's inspiring ministry spanning nearly 50 years.

Bishop Bill was, until his retirement in 2008, the Bishop of Truro and he and his wife Frances are regular members of the congregation in Bromham. He was previously suffragan Bishop of Grantham, and a priest in the Dioceses of London and Winchester.

Before the service Bromham Ringers rang a quarter peal in honour of the occasion and afterwards, over refreshments in the church, Bishop Bill thanked the Archbishop with these words: “I want, on behalf of all of us, to say thank you to Archbishop Rowan for what he has done, and said and written and been.

"He has given himself unstintingly to the task and, speaking for all sorts of people, he has given inspiration both to Christians and those who do not share the same sort of belief system. He has helped all sorts of people to pray and to think and there is no doubt that he will continue to do both in Cambridge.”

Then as the Archbishop and Bishop Edward were presented with a selection of Bromham vegetables, honey and preserves by Tracy Collins and Ann Paget, Bishop Bill continued: “We thank the Archbishop and the Bishop of Ramsbury for being here, and to mark the occasion we want to give them Bromham itself.

"So for you both, Archbishop and Bishop, harvest festival has come early. Everything that you receive comes from Bromham and comes with our thanks and our love.”

Finally the Rev John Rees presented Bishop Bill with a cartoon specially drawn by Carol Drew as a reminder of the occasion and the Archbishop’s visit, and Anna Ponder gave Frances Ind a bouquet of flowers.