Friday, 26 September 2014

Andrew Watson to be next Bishop of Guildford

Updated Monday

From the Number 10 website

Diocese of Guildford: nomination of Andrew Watson

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
History: Published 26 September 2014
Part of: Community and society

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Andrew Watson for election as Bishop of Guildford.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Andrew John Watson MA, Bishop of Aston, for election as Bishop of Guildford in succession to the Right Reverend Christopher John Hill BD AKC MTh, whose resignation took effect on 30 November 2013.

Biographical notes

Andrew Watson is 53 and studied law at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was also a music exhibitioner, regularly playing his bassoon in various orchestras and chamber groups.

Following 2 years as a caretaker and youth worker in Islington, he trained for the ordained ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, where he met his future wife Beverly (who has since been ordained herself).

He served his title at St Peter’s, Ipsley, in Worcester diocese from 1987 to 1991, leading a church on the council estate where they lived, and served a second curacy at St John and St Peter, Notting Hill, in London diocese from 1991 to 1996, restoring the Grade 2* listed church of St Peter (which features prominently in the movie Notting Hill), and developing a community café, nursery school and prison visiting team.

From 1996 to 2008 he was Vicar of St Stephen’s, East Twickenham, in London diocese, where he planted 3 further churches and led teams to Norway and Sweden, Donetsk and the slums of Delhi.

He was a member of the General Synod from 2000 to 2008 and Area Dean of Hampton from 2003 to 2008.

In October 2008, he was consecrated Bishop in St Paul’s Cathedral. Since then he has served as the Suffragan Bishop of Aston in the diocese of Birmingham, overseeing the programme ‘Transforming Church’.

Andrew and Beverly have 2 girls and 2 boys, Hannah (24), Sam (22), Joe (19) and Lydia (15). He is the author of The Fourfold Leadership of Jesus (Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) 2008), Confidence in the Living God (BRF 2009) and The Way of the Desert (BRF 2011). He remains a keen musician and a China enthusiast, and enjoys reading, cooking, photography and walking stretches of the South West Coast Path.

From the Birmingham diocesan website: Bishop David is delighted that Bishop Andrew Watson is to be the new Bishop of Guildford


From the Guildford diocesan website: New Bishop of Guildford announced

Posted by Peter Owen on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 10:06am BST | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: Church of England

A bassoon player - that's a minority interest, unusual enough to get him into trouble with Reform and other conservative groups!

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 2:24pm BST

"and walking stretches of the South West Coast Path."

Nice to see a variation on the hill-walking theme :-)

Posted by: Laurence Cunnington on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 4:04pm BST

"A bassoon player - that's a minority interest"

Be glad that he doesn't play oboe. Many of us are convinced that the pressure on the brain causes damage. However, double reeds do tend to make people neurotic…

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 26 September 2014 at 10:04pm BST

Is a "China enthusiast" an amateur Sinologist or a collector of fine porcelain?

Posted by: rjb on Saturday, 27 September 2014 at 6:15am BST

A bishop who has actually planted new churches? I'm going to have to pour a bucket of iced water over myself. This kind of thing used to be an impediment to the purple shirt, so I'm delighted to see the CofE recognising it now as a qualification for episcopal leadership.

Posted by: David Keen on Saturday, 27 September 2014 at 8:38am BST

I think Guildford scores a first in that we will have two Bishops who are both bassoon players. But all joking apart, what I saw and heard of +Andrew and his (also ordained) wife Beverley in Guildford Cathedral last night impressed me greatly. They are both what I call "people" people and I have great expectations of both of them becoming well known throughout the diocese. I have " Great Expectations"

Posted by: PeterM on Saturday, 27 September 2014 at 6:37pm BST

Good appointment. Not much doubt as to what the Diocese of Guildford was looking for.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Saturday, 27 September 2014 at 6:48pm BST

If a string of recent appointments are anything to go by, it is vital to be married (to a woman).

The episcopate of the church of england lacks all credibility in the eyes of some of the most thoughtful, ethical, people in of our society.

Posted by: Laurie R on Monday, 29 September 2014 at 4:39pm BST


Whilst I get the (snarky) point you're trying to make, surely the place of the Church has always been not* to correspond to the ways of the world - and in this case, of decadent, secular post-Christian Britain?

"Whoever marries the spirit of this age will find himself a widower in the next" etc etc.


Posted by: Tristan on Monday, 29 September 2014 at 4:59pm BST

If a string of recent appointments are anything to go by, it is vital to be married (to a woman).

So it's sort of, not credible to be married (to a woman) is that it? This is new, even for TA!

Posted by: ian on Monday, 29 September 2014 at 5:14pm BST

I am not sure that the marital status of the current bench of diocesan bishops tells us very much. However, of the last eleven appointments (which included three translations of existing diocesans - Canterbury, Durham and Leeds), only one bishop is single. There are currently five vacancies. Of the other 26 bishops, 20 are married, one is widowed and five are single. Excluding vacant sees, single bishops make up 16.2% of the total. Of the last eleven appointments it might therefore have been expected that there would have been 1.8 single men nominated. The trend is therefore slightly in favour of the CNC making more nominations of married men, but it is hardly a pronounced shift. When I was on the CNC I don't recall marital status ever being raised as an issue. I was involved in six nominations, of which two were single.

Posted by: Anthony Archer on Monday, 29 September 2014 at 9:03pm BST

To be married to a woman with a good job too......laurie!

Posted by: robert ian williams on Monday, 29 September 2014 at 10:32pm BST
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.