Tuesday, 4 February 2014

new Bishop of Leeds announced

It has been announced this morning from 10 Downing Street that the first Bishop of Leeds, serving the new diocese in West Yorkshire and the Dales, is to be the outgoing Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines.

The press release from Number 10 reads:

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Nicholas Baines, BA, Bishop of Bradford, for election as the new Bishop of Leeds, following the restructuring of the Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield into the Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire and the Dales).

Biographical notes on Nick Baines appear below the fold.

The website for the proto-diocese carries this story Bishop of Bradford Announced as First Bishop of Leeds for the new Diocese

The Archbishop of York has issued his own lengthy press statement.

Nick Baines has blogged about his own appointment here.

There is a video in which he speaks about this too.


The Right Reverend Nicholas Baines (aged 56) studied Modern Languages at the University of Bradford, worked as a linguist specialist at GCHQ, Cheltenham, and trained for ordination at Trinity College Bristol. He was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1988.

From 1987 to 1991 he served as assistant curate at St Thomas Kendal and from 1991 to 1992 as assistant priest at Holy Trinity with Saint John, Leicester. In 1992 he was appointed Vicar of St Mary and Saint John, Rothley in Leicester Diocese where he remained until 2000 when he became Archdeacon of Lambeth.

In 2003 to 2011 he was appointed Area Bishop of Croydon. Since 2011 he has been Bishop of Bradford. He was a Member of the General Synod from 1995 to 2005 and was a Director of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group from 2002 to 2010. A regular broadcaster, he also chairs the Sandford St Martin Trust. He is the Anglican Co-chair of the Meissen Commission and represents the Archbishop of Canterbury at global interfaith conferences. He has written 6 books and writes a popular blog.

He is married to Linda and they have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren. His interests include the shaping of the church to face the challenges and opportunities of the twenty first century, particularly engagement with people outside the church. Other interests include reading, music and sport (particularly Liverpool FC).

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 10:02am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Leeds gain is Liverpool's loss. A sensible, experienced and wise choice of first chief shepherd for the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 1:14pm GMT

Father David. Liverpool lost Nick Baines years ago 'though he is still at Anfield in football spirit.
In this new diocese he retains all his Bradford Diocese oversight but adds a lot more of Yorkshire.

Posted by: Ken Sawyer on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 1:42pm GMT

Yes, a great appointment and a great loss for Europe, Liverpool, Gloucester....

Posted by: Charles Read on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 1:50pm GMT

Sadly he prefers the wrong shape of ball. That would never do in Glawster. Excellent appointment, though. Having grown up in Bradford diocese and served a 12 year spell in Wakefield (though only 15 minutes from Bradford Cathedral) I'm comforted that +Nick remains there.

Posted by: cryptogram on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 3:14pm GMT

Charles not forgetting the loss to Hereford, Guildford, St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich. As for suffragan sees it's been a long time since the Whitby area in the York diocese missed out on the appointment of a potentially excellent suffragan bishop. Leeds is pioneering the way in reducing the number of diocesan vacancies by amalgamating three into one. Which dioceses will be brave enough to follow their example and join up with one another?

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 5:16pm GMT

Oh, I don't think Europe is in mourning - yet; and I have to say that I hadn't heard +Nick mentioned as a maybe (unlike one extraordinary suggestion which I heard only today!)I think many people had expected +Nick to be nominated for Leeds etc; and many of us in Europe are praying for a different gift from the Almighty...

Posted by: Peter Edwards on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 7:26pm GMT

Surprise surprise - as I commented a while ago, this was a done deal from the start, there was never the slightest doubt that Baines would be the new super bishop.

I remain sceptical about this new diocese and consider that the last state may end up being worse than the first. Even Nick Baines may not be able to overcome this.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 7:35pm GMT

My word, Concerned a new level of episcopacy in that Nick Baines becomes a "super bishop". Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's Super Bishop! I suppose that makes him more important than a mere Flying Bishop but is a "super bishop" yet even more important than an Archbishop and will he be declaring UDI from the Province of York now that has been reduced from 14 diocese to just 11? With the declared intention of having 5 episcopal areas in the new super diocese (Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield), I'm concern about what will happen to the existing bishops of Knaresborough and Pontefract? Will we be seeing yet another category of episcopacy in that they will become redundant bishops or even worse culled bishops? I think we should be told.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 6:20am GMT

Fr David, it has always been part of the new diocese scheme that the existing suffragan bishops automatically assume two of the new suffragan bishoprics, viz.
Pontefract becomes the new Wakefield, and
Knaresborough becomes the new Ripon.

The only bishop becoming redundant turns out to be the old Wakefield. But I rather like the idea a culled bishop.

Replacing three dioceses with one diocese only cuts the number in the Northern Province by two.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 7:53am GMT

Simon thank you for that clarification. So now only two new bishops need to be found for Bradford and Huddersfield. That means the number of bishops serving the new super diocese will remain exactly the same. Formerly there was Bradford, Ripon, Wakefield, Pontefract and Knaresborough. Come the Appointed Day potentially there will be Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield. Five before and five thereafter. Forgive me but Maths was never my strong point - you've no idea what a struggle it was to pass 'O ' level Mathematics. Thank you for your correction. The Northern Province will now be reduced from 14 dioceses to 12 - which, when you think about it is rather Biblical.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 9:35am GMT

A further thought occurs - when the present Bishop of Pontefract becomes the Suffragan Bishop of Wakefield will he be moving into Bishop's Lodge once Stephen Platten vacates the property or have the Church Commissions other thoughts on what to do with Bishop's Lodge as they have with regarded to the moated Bishop's Palace at Wells?

Posted by: father David on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 9:49am GMT

I should be surprised if + Tony Pontefract moves from his present modern home which is in walking distance of Bishop's lodge. I think a change of name for his house will be the only consequence.
Unmoated and draughty Bishop's Lodge will be sold, I'm sure.

Posted by: Peter Bostock on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 11:38am GMT

Great appointment. The outgoing Bishop of Bradford was the standout candidate, so it was not difficult. I am a bit out of touch as a former Central Member of the CNC, but cannot think of another candidate who even came close. Prayers for +Nick and the new diocese. Lots of work to do building His church.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 11:54am GMT

A moderate evangelical as regards women, but a safe pair of hands to check the gay advance.

Strange how Paul can be revised on women but not on gays!

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Wednesday, 5 February 2014 at 8:24pm GMT

Me thinks that now that Bishop Nick Baines is about to extend his empire to include the whole of the half of Yorkshire ( or should that be the half of the whole of Yorkshire?) the Bishop of Chelmsford will now have a rival to take over the Northern Province when + Sentamu Eboracensis retires. Both Bradford and Chelmsford are in their mid fifties and once 2014 is over and the centenary celebrations of the Chelmsford diocese complete a man of such vision, energy and imagination as Bishop Stephen may well be looking for a new challenge - possibly London but I still will wager a pound on him going to York.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 6 February 2014 at 5:42am GMT

Unlikely for +Leeds (is that the nomenclature?) to be translated to Ebor while ++Justin is at Cantuar. In addition, the task in West Yorkshire is going to need five years at least. While not being one of the Big Five in House of Lords terms, and obviously not a Primate, the new role is far more important than Durham or Winchester, and arguably York, apart from the Primate element of that role.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Thursday, 6 February 2014 at 8:03pm GMT

Leeds more important than Durham? I don't think so! It's time for the new Dunelm not only to reclaim his castle but also Northumberland lost to the upstart diocese of Newcastle in the days of Bishop Lightfoot. That'll shew Leeds exactly who is Cock of the North.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 7 February 2014 at 6:33am GMT

Agree re Newcastle, a largely failed diocese under current leadership, but the new +Dunelm has too much to do to be burdened by merging the two dioceses. Maybe the Dioceses Commission has different ideas?

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Friday, 7 February 2014 at 12:46pm GMT

Following today's General Synod debate will the new bishop of the super diocese be known as + Nick Leeds or + Nicholas West Yorkshire and the Dales? If the latter, he'll not only have the biggest diocese in the Chiurch of England but also the longest and most cumbersome title.

Posted by: Father David on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 3:55pm GMT

"The force (which we rather inadequately refer to as God) which created unimaginable splendours and unimaginable horrors has taken refuge in us and will follow our commands"
St Catherine of Siena
In other words the choice is ours and not 'the Will of God' (inshallah)That's why we're here.
Excellent TOTD this morning---many thanks

Posted by: Peter Naylor on Monday, 29 June 2015 at 8:15am BST
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