Thursday, 26 March 2015

Bishop of Gloucester


10 Downing Street has announced that the next Bishop of Gloucester is to be the Venerable Rachel Treweek, currently Archdeacon of Hackney.

Diocese of Gloucester: Venerable Rachel Treweek

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Rachel Treweek, BA, BTh, Archdeacon of Hackney, for election as Bishop of Gloucester in succession to the Right Reverend Michael Francis Perham, MA, whose resignation took effect on the 21 November 2014.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Rachel Treweek (nee Montgomery) aged 52, studied at Reading University and trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her first curacy at Saint George and All Saints, Tufnell Park in the Diocese of London from 1994 to 1997 and was Associate Vicar from 1997 to 1999.

From 1999 to 2006 she was Vicar at Saint James the Less, Bethnal Green and Continuing Ministerial Education Officer for the Stepney Episcopal Area. From 2006 to 2011 she was Archdeacon of Northolt in the Diocese of London. Since 2011 she has been Archdeacon of Hackney. In 2013 she was elected as Participant Observer in the House of Bishops for the South East Region.

Rachel is married to Guy, Priest-in-Charge of two parishes in the City of London.

Her interests include conflict transformation, walking and canoeing.

Gloucester diocese has a page welcoming the new bishop-designate including the following quote

Following the announcement, Rachel said:

“It is an immense joy and privilege to be appointed as the Bishop of Gloucester. I am surprised and, I have to admit, even a little daunted by the prospect, but my overwhelming feeling is one of excitement to be coming to join with others in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of this diocese.

“I am looking forward to encouraging Christians to speak out with confidence about their faith and the good news that the Gospel brings. It will be my privilege to work with churches as we connect with people, wherever they are and whatever their concerns.

“My calling to the role of bishop has been shaped by human encounter. I believe profoundly that relationship is at the heart of who God is. I have been with people through the joys and pains of their lives and it is these experiences that I will reflect upon as I take up this new role.”

The diocese of London also covers the appointment of one of its archdeacons. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, is quoted:

As Richard of Gloucester is reinterred, Rachel of Gloucester is revealed. Rachel has served her entire ministry in the Diocese of London, excelling wherever she has been. She has twice acted as Archdeacon, in Northolt and then Hackney — two highly demanding and contrasting areas where she has shone in equal measure.

… While we are very sorry to see her go, Gloucester has appointed someone with real quality and distinction. We look forward to continuing to support her in the years to come.

There is also coverage in the press including

several of which note that she is expected to become the first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords.

Posted by Simon Kershaw on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 10:01am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England

Excellent appointment as anyone in the Diocese of London who has experienced her ministry will know!

This is third appointment of a woman and in each case they have an ordained spouse.

Posted by: Susan Cooper on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 10:34am GMT

Northern Province 2 - Southern Province 1

Or does One Diocesan trump two Suffragans?

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 10:51am GMT

David, I think it does :P

Posted by: DBD on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 12:08pm GMT

So you don't have to be married to a cleric (of the opposite sex) but it helps.

Posted by: ExRevd on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 12:21pm GMT

Being married to a cleric keeps the headship ConEvos happy...

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 6:15pm GMT

Pete Broadbent,
that made me laugh out loud. Thank you.
Is the idea that the bishops will take instructions from their husbands who will be the power behind the ceremonial throne?

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 7:38pm GMT

Many Congratulations to Rachel on this appointment. She's an able and experienced individual; one who will be a great asset to the Diocese of Gloucester.

Good wishes to Rachel and those that rejoice at her appointment.

Posted by: Chuchu Nwagu on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 8:11pm GMT

Love and blessing to Ven Revd Rachel Treweek! I suspect that Rose Hudson-Wilkin will be amongst the next ones appointed but I wish that she's appointed for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.

Posted by: Mo (Revd) Christine on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 8:52pm GMT

{sound of ice cracking}

"Let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream..." [Amos 5:24]

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 26 March 2015 at 9:08pm GMT

Pete Broadbent that quote is gold. It is surpassed only by the Church Times report that apparently "GLOUCESTER is to have the Church of England's first diocesan bishop, it was announced today."

Posted by: Peter on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 6:51am GMT

Rachel will be in good company in this diocese of Gloucester. We have some outstanding women clergy, highly esteemed by society at large and loved and honoured by layfolk.

Especial acknowledgement is due to Bp Martyn, Suffragan of Tewkesbury, who is currently shepherding the diocese with generosity and level-headedness. He will now have a new (woman!) boss.

Posted by: Sister Mary on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 7:38am GMT

Peter, I know that Gloucester was only created as a separate diocese in Tudor times but surely the honour of being the first Diocesan Bishop thereof belongs to John Wakeman alias Wiche in 1541. Methinks that the Church Crimes omitted to mention the gender of Bishop Designate Treweek.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 8:24am GMT

"Being married to a cleric keeps the headship ConEvos happy..."
Bishop Pete - I presume that's a joke at the expense the of the headship Con Evos in your episcopal area, and not what they really think?

Posted by: Philip on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 9:07am GMT

Pete's comment was very good.....
but I had a (female) conservative evangelical ordinand once who was told (in all seriousness) at some evangelical conference that at least now she was getting married she would have some male headship to be under!

Posted by: Charles Read on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 9:14am GMT

Is it worth raising a concerned voice at what appears, at least, to be a steady procession of Evangelicals of both sexes being advanced to the Office of Bishop in the Church? They are not the sole strand in Anglican tradition, and there is the danger of a serious imbalance being created on the bench of bishops. It would be reassuring to see some fitting candidates who have a firmly Catholic ecclesiology and sacramental theology being consecrated to the episcopate.

Posted by: Barry on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 10:13am GMT

cuts both ways though - in the Trad AC world about 5 years ago I met a girl who became engaged to the curate. At their engagement party she was only half joking when she said:

"Of course I'm going to have to find another church now because I don't approve of married clergymen"

Posted by: primroseleague on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 10:20am GMT

'Twould be quite nice, now, to have an Anglo-Catholic woman priest appointed as a diocesan bishop - if only to keep a right balance. And then, of course, there must be room made on the Bench for Jeffrey John.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 11:02am GMT


Martin Seeley is going to St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, so that's one catholic appointment at diocesan level.

Posted by: James Allport on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 11:09am GMT

I join cheerfully with all the justified applause for Bishop Rachel, and am sure she will be very good. However, quite apart from the contrast between gender revolution and churchmanship conventionality, it is also interesting that a ministry spent entirely in the Diocese of London is accepted without question as good preparation to lead the church in Gloucestershire. Although many in this diocese would say suburbia begins at the Severn anyway.

Posted by: Neil Patterson on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 11:50am GMT

Thank you @Barry. I didn't want to jump in and look like I was dampening the fire of real joy at this appointment. But, it's true: another Evangelical (with an Evangelical suffragan in post). From Catholic scholar/liturgist to Evangelical is quite a shift for a Diocese. And I don't think we're going to see Rachel challenging the LGBT status quo. Yes, a predicted pattern is emerging and I'm not holding my breath for a catholic/liberal female diocesan soon. The weight of expectation now falls on Nick Holtam and Martin Seeley to lead the way with their suffragan appointments.

Posted by: Tom Marshall on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 12:44pm GMT

Father Ron - such a bishop would indeed be nice. Thank you for making me smile. Perhaps we shall one day have such a priest at St Mary's Bourne Street where we are, yet again, sadly, lacking a vicar.

Posted by: Julia Redfern on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 5:23pm GMT

Remember that she was one of the advisers to the Pilling Report, and therefore part of the group which opened the door to change on LGBT issues.

Posted by: Francis on Friday, 27 March 2015 at 7:09pm GMT

Yes, Francis, you may be right. However, did the Pilling Report actually OPEN the door for LGBT people or has it ensured that it be closed for ever?

Julia, if you would accept an 85 year-old A.C. as your interim Vicar, I would gladly move over from ACANZP to fill the gap, temporarily, of course!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 28 March 2015 at 8:01pm GMT

And top marks, with delicious irony too, to Wycliffe Hall for producing the C of E's first female diocesan bishop. As well as one of the first female deans.

Posted by: Simon W on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 2:10am BST

Congratulations to Thinking Anglicans in reaching the dizzy heights of having received an honourable mention on the Sunday programme on the wireless, thanks to Bishop Broadbent's witticism on "Headship"

Posted by: Father David on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 8:48am BST

Simon W - you must remember that Wycliffe under the last principal was an aberration. Rachel trained there when it was sensible.

Posted by: Charles Read on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 9:33pm BST

Thank you, Father Ron, for the very generous offer across the miles! At +Londin's instigation, a Priest in Charge will be licensed to St Mary's after Easter, for a maximum of one year. Who knows what dizzy vistas may open to us after that ...?

Posted by: Julia Redfern on Sunday, 29 March 2015 at 10:43pm BST

Charles - I do indeed. I know plenty who have trained there over the years and also sent a good few ordinands in Wycliffe's direction as DDO. When one views this appointment in the perspective of the past 30 years in the C of E it's still pretty remarkable.
Julia - All Saints Clifton dropped the Resolutions in 2013. Have faith. All things are possible! And Fr Ron as an interim would have been fun.

Posted by: Simon W on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 at 10:52am BST

Simon - as far as Resolutions are concerned, I think it is probably quite likely that FiF will work very hard to get what are now 'A&B-only' parishes to pass a 'Resolution under the House of Bishops' Declaration'. I don't think that the considerable amount of material on the subject already on their website should be under-estimated. But yes, all things are certainly possible, and lovely to have the positive anecdote!

Posted by: Julia Redfern on Tuesday, 31 March 2015 at 3:05pm BST

Rachel trained at Wycliffe before the staff debacle and the swerve towards Reform (now corrected), but it wasn't an easy place to be. She (and several of my female ordinands) got a lot of stick from fellow students of a "headship" persuasion. But they survived...

Posted by: Pete Broadbent on Wednesday, 1 April 2015 at 8:50am BST

Slight correction +Pete - Rachel trained at Wycliffe when Reform was founded. I know - I was there in the room next door.

Posted by: Jenny Petersen on Wednesday, 1 April 2015 at 9:10am BST
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