Religion Magazine

New Bishops, New Directions

By Nicholas Baines

This morning the new Bishops of Bradford and Huddersfield were consecrated (not ‘concentrated’, as someone put it in a prayer last week) at York Minster. The immediate reports and photos can be seen here.

This completes the episcopal team for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales (not “Daleks’, as someone printed it recently). The new bishops, Toby Howarth and Jonathan Gibbs will start on 1 December, but might make appearances before then.

wpid-Photo-20140709193123.jpg

This is the latest and very important step in shaping the new diocese. We face significant challenges, but fantastic opportunities. The new bishops will find a great openness in the diocese to new ways of doing things. They will also be able to put immediate energy into encouraging, nurturing, challenging and shaping. They will also need to learn the patch and the people – without buying in to all the myths that grow around the church and the way it does its business.

Of course, this is all happening against a backdrop of economic challenge at home and serious international challenge away. It is an exciting and demanding time to take on episcopal ministry and leadership.

Anyway, back to concentrating on the Daleks for this evening…


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