Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Richard Frith to be next Bishop of Hereford

It was announced this morning that the next Bishop of Hereford is to be Richard Frith, currently the suffragan Bishop of Hull in the diocese of York.

Announcement on the Hereford diocesan website: New Bishop named for Diocese of Hereford

Announcement on the York diocesan website: Richard Frith to be Bishop of Hereford

Press release from Number 10:

Diocese of Hereford: Right Reverend Richard Frith

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
History: Published 16 July 2014
Part of: Community and society

The Right Reverend Richard Michael Cokayne Frith is approved for election as Bishop of Hereford.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Richard Michael Cokayne Frith, MA, Bishop of Hull, for election as Bishop of Hereford in succession to the Right Reverend Anthony Martin Priddis, MA, whose resignation took effect on 24 September 2013.

The Right Reverend Richard Frith

The Right Reverend Richard Frith (aged 65) studied at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and trained for the ordained ministry at St John’s College Nottingham. He served his curacy at Mortlake with East Sheen in Southwark diocese from 1974 to 1978. From 1978 to 1983 he was a Team Vicar at Thamesmead and from 1983 to 1992 Team Rector at Keynsham, Bath and Wells diocese. From 1991 to 1998 he was Prebendary at Wells Cathedral, for 6 of those years being Archdeacon of Taunton. Since 1998 he has been Suffragan Bishop of Hull.

He is married to Kay and has 4 children and 4 step children. His interests include the theatre and sport, with a particular passion for cricket.

Posted by Peter Owen on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 9:59am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

It's good to see an older diocesan bishop being appointed. It is always a mistake to appoint young ones as it 'distorts' the market.

For example, younger bishops will never appoint older or more experienced clergy to important positions and of course they tend themselves to get stuck for a very long time.

Better then to have someone who in a few years might do some good and if not - not too much damage can be done.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 11:43am BST

I doubt he will do much damage. His impact on Hull (where I live) has been near zero in contrast with others, the engaged and the careerist. And that has been no bad thing. Indeed the less general impact they have the better.

Posted by: Pluralist on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 12:00pm BST

Obviously at 65 just keeping the cathedra warm for, at most, the next five years until someone of the opposite gender is appointed to the See of Hereford.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 12:09pm BST

The diocese has always been known as the Dead See. Any vigorous and thoughtful 'churchmanship' has been eliminated by pastoral reorganisation and a reliance on hard pressed SSMs.
Recent advertising for vacancies has had an emphasis on Bible based ministries.

Thankfully the Cathedral is an inclusive and innovative establishment.

Posted by: Milburga on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 3:54pm BST

If I was a betting man I would say the Dean of York for Hull.

Posted by: Malcolm Gray on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 6:01pm BST

I would consider that a Dean should accept nothing less than a Diocesan post - the responsibilities of a suffragan bishop are not comparable. When you have been running your show, you would find it difficult to be at the beck and call of the diocesan.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 7:56pm BST

"Obviously at 65 just keeping the cathedra warm for, at most, the next five years" Father David

Yes- because the Church of England got an exemption from the age-discrimination legislation too!

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 9:35pm BST

Quite so, Susan, I was most surprised when the last Dean of Exeter left his Deanery to become a Suffragan in the Diocese of Norwich. The Deanery of York is surely a far more significant post than the Suffragan bishopric of Hull.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 at 10:06pm BST

I would like to think that every parish is a significant post, Father David.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 12:36am BST

No one mentions that Bishop Frith is a remarried divorcee. Where is the indignation of Sugden and co?

Posted by: robert Ian williams on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 7:05am BST

Tim, in the eyes of God, every parish is equal. In the eyes of man, some parishes are more equal than others!

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 7:56am BST

Twenty years ago Hereford Diocese was welcoming and inclusive with a broad range of theology and churchmanship. That has been changing over recent years. With the latest appointment, the Diocese now has people of an evangelical background in the three most senior posts - the Diocesan Bishop, Bishop of Ludlow and Archdeacon of Hereford. Perhaps not ideal for a very rural Diocese. Thankfully the Cathedral provides some balance!

Posted by: ET on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 11:24am BST

Lucky Hereford, I say. They have someone of experience, wisdom and stability who will not be launching initiative after initiative, and who may be able to take a long view to sort out the bland, monochrome liberal evangelical vacuity that is the norm in most parish churches. If Richard Frith can get a few more stipendiary, residentially-trained clergy in to the Diocese, who will bring some gravity and character to the ecclesial landscape, it might make Hereford an attractive place once more. As it is, anyone hoping for an identifiably catholic Eucharist, which is distinct from a primary school assembly, has to travel to the Cathedral or Ludlow.

Posted by: Simon R on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 12:01pm BST

May I gently suggest to some of the caustic commentators that they explore the Diocese of Hereford a little more before damning it all on the basis of a few unhappy experiences.

Posted by: Neil Patterson on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 2:52pm BST

I look on Herefordshire as a holiday destination and I have always enjoyed the welcome I have received in the village churches. Every village appears to have its Norman church. I would imagine that it is a very good place to minister, although the number of churches that clergy have to look after often runs into double figures.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 3:21pm BST

Father David, I would hope that we would be helping people to see parishes as God sees them, rather than as humans see them.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 5:04pm BST

With reference to his marital status, is this a first for diocesan bishops in England?

Posted by: peter kettle on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 6:56pm BST

Dear Tim, I totally agree we should indeed but how is that done? Surely by taking our guidance from Holy Writ and not, as the General Synod seems hell bent on doing, disregarding God's Holy Word as revealed in Holy Scripture.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 17 July 2014 at 7:36pm BST

I have always been against women Bishops but having been to York Minster several times for worship the Dean would make me change my mind on subject. sensible, dignified. not loud like some i could mention or in your face
slowly changing my mind about the said subject it will take time
Hope she gets a diocese

Posted by: Malcolm Gray on Friday, 18 July 2014 at 6:07am BST

Dear Peter Kettle, I don't know if Bishop Frith is the fist bishop to divorce and remarry but Mark Santer of Birmingham and Simon Phipps of Lincoln both married women who had themselves been divorced. Both bishops exercised exemplary episcopal ministries. I also believe that the present bishop of Salisbury is married to someone who has been married before. I do remember that Simon Phipps got himself into hot water by writing in an approving manner in his Diocesan Letter about homosexual relations that may include "genital contact". His post bag had never been larger before or since and coals of fire were heaped upon his head from his Lincolnshire flock, but that was some years ago!
Thinks, I wonder who will be the first bishop to disobey the Bishops Pastoral Letter and become the first person in episcopal orders to enter into a same sex marriage? Canon Pemberton has led the way into this "Brave New World". In our current "anything goes" CofE who will be brave enough to follow thereafter?

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 18 July 2014 at 6:32am BST

No, Bishop Santer of Birmingham ( then co-Chairman of ARCIC) married a divorcee in a registry office before the legislation was changed. Yet he was not treated like Jeremy Pemberton, and all the bishops affirmed him.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Friday, 18 July 2014 at 8:05am BST

"His interests include the theatre and sport, with a particular passion for cricket."

What? No hill walking?

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Friday, 18 July 2014 at 8:26am BST

Bishop Richard is a thoroughly decent and pleasant, both as man and priest.

When he has stood-in for the vicar of Hessle parish church, I have taken Communion from him. He and I have also knelt side-by-side in All Saints to share Communion from Vicar Tim.

I feared that, as a remarried divorcee, Bishop Richard would be excluded from promotion from suffragan status. I am very glad that the C of E is showing overdue liberal tendencies; and increasingly so.

God bless Bishop Richard of Hull and Hereford.

Posted by: David White on Monday, 4 August 2014 at 2:15pm BST
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