THE Bishop of Gloucester has announced that he is to step down after more than ten years in the role.

The Right Reverend Michael Perham previously announced that he would retire in November after undertaking a pilgrimage across his diocese.

A statement from the Diocese confirmed that he plans to step back from the church earlier due to personal reasons.

The deadline for applicants to replace the Bishop closed on Monday, July 7 and the announcement of a new Bishop will be in Spring 2015.

Upon his retirement in February Bishop Michael said: “By the time I retire in November I shall have completed more than ten years as Bishop of Gloucester.

"For me these have been happy, stimulating and fruitful years, full of blessing. To serve the people of Gloucestershire, both the churches and the wider communities, has been a huge privilege."

"I have had a wonderful team of colleagues, a talented college of clergy and legions of committed lay people helping to take forward the Church’s mission.

"To be a teacher, pastor, worship leader and sign of unity among them has been wonderful. I shall miss it all when it comes to an end in nine months’ time.”