Retired Archdeacon of Lynn, Ian Bentley, dies following cancer diagnosis

Interim Minister at The Church of St Peter Mancroft, Ian Bentley. Picture: Hannah Betts Photography

Interim Minister at The Church of St Peter Mancroft, Ian Bentley. Picture: Hannah Betts Photography - Credit: Archant

The recently retired Archdeacon of Lynn, Ian Bentley, has died following a cancer diagnosis. 

The Venerable Ian Bentley, who retired earlier this year, passed away on May 31 following a short illness. 

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, led the tributes and shared a heartfelt statement via the Diocese of Norwich’s website. 

He wrote: “It is with much sadness that I share that Archdeacon Ian Bentley died yesterday evening in the Priscilla Bacon Hospice. He was surrounded by his loving family, and my prayers are particularly with them at this time. 

“Ian was much loved and hugely respected by all who knew him. He served the Diocese of Norwich with distinction, ministering in its many parishes, latterly at Oulton Broad, St Peter Mancroft and then as Archdeacon of Lynn. He also served on the Chapter of Norwich Cathedral.  

“He bore the news of his cancer diagnosis with huge fortitude, witnessing throughout his illness to the Lord Jesus. Many of us have lost a friend and the Diocese will mourn a faithful minister of the gospel. Our prayers today are particularly with Caroline and their children Hannah and Tim, and the beloved grandchildren.” 

The Ven Ian Bentley, Archdeacon of Lynn, introducing the Diocese of Norwich Songs of Praise drive-in

The Ven Ian Bentley, introducing the Diocese of Norwich Songs of Praise drive-in service at the Norfolk Showground in August 2020 - Credit: Rev Canon Aidan Platten

Growing up in Essex, the Ven Ian Bentley, of Norwich, went on to study geography at the University of Sheffield. He had a career in teaching, which included being deputy headteacher of a school in Germany, until he found his calling for ministry. He trained in Durham. 

Most Read

Ordained in 1995, he 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 and around Ditchingham, south Norfolk, in 1998 prior to becoming the vicar of Oulton Broad in 2006. In 2017, he moved to Norwich as the interim vicar in charge of St Peter Mancroft. 

Described as "a passionate follower of Jesus Christ”, he loved being part of missions and sharing his faith with humour and warmth. 

He enjoyed playing the piano, often dusting off the organ when visiting rural churches, and often delighted in a gin and tonic whilst on his motor cruiser on the Norfolk Broads. 

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.

Rev Canon Ian Bentley at the Sleeping Beauty Panto Carol Service. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Ven Ian Bentley pictured at a panto carol service - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017