Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Lichfield to retire

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield, announced today that he will retire in September 2015.

Announcement on the Lichfield diocesan website: “40 years seem a good stint”

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Father Ron Smith
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What a lovely Bishop!. The Church need more like Bishop Jonathan. He is a true successor of the first Bishop of Lichfield, St. Chad in the 7th century. Another such was Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, the first Missionary Bishop to Aotearoa/New Zealand, who instituted the custom of Clergy and Lay Synodical government in the Colonies. He later became Bishop of Lichfield, in 1867. As a parish priest in New Zealand, I was privileged to serve in two churches dedicated to St. Chad; each of which was at the centre of a multiple benefice. St Chad became my mentor and inspiration… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

I agree with Fr. Ron, in the St. Chad’s Day video Bishop Jonathan comes over as a very gentle pastoral bishop. Not going quite as far back as St. Chad, I note that one of Bishop Gledhill’s predecessors was the Rt. Revd John Augustine Kempthorne. Am I correct in thinking that there are quite a number of Kempthornes from Nelson in Fr. Ron’s native New Zealand? I did once know the Reverend Renatus Kempthorne who was married to a charming wife from New Zealand. May Bishop Jonathan and his wife enjoy a long, well deserved and happy retirement in Kent.

Father Ron Smith
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Father David: There was, indeed a Bishop Kempthorne with New Zealand connections. And there still is a ‘Revd. Renatus Kempthorne’, once curate at Saint Michael’s, Stoke, in Coventry (my own English diocese). He is now retired in Nelson. The legacy of Saint Chad lives on!

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Quite true, Fr David. L S Kempthorne was Bishop of Polynesia for 40 years in the mid 20th century. Someone else may know whether and how he, +John Kempthorne and the “Nelson Kempthornes are related.

One reason why Ron has encountered so many churches dedicated to St Chad is that Bishop John Simpkin of Auckland came from Lichfield diocese, and Chad seems to have been his favourite saint. He was responsible for so naming three Auckland churches, in Meadowbank, Sandringham and Orewa.

Father David
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Father David

It is amazing to think that the humble Chad, originally a monk from Lindisfarne, has such a far reaching influence extending all the way to New Zealand. His brother Cedd, Apostle to the East Saxons, reached as far as Essex before retiring to Lastingham where he is buried in that splendid crypt but Chad seems to have outshone his sibling by far.