The Prime Minister’s Office has announced that the next Bishop of Manchester is to be the Rt Revd David Walker, the suffragan Bishop of Dudley in the diocese of Worcester.
Approval of the nomination of the Right Reverend David Stuart Walker, MA, Suffragan Bishop of Dudley, for election as Bishop of Manchester.
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend David Stuart Walker, MA, Suffragan Bishop of Dudley, for election as Bishop of Manchester in succession to the Right Reverend Nigel Simeon McCulloch, MA, on his resignation on 17 January 2013.
Notes for editors
The Right Reverend David Walker (aged 56) studied theology at Queen’s College, Birmingham. He served his first curacy at St Mary Handsworth, Sheffield from 1983 to 1986. From 1986 to 1991 he was Team Vicar and Industrial Chaplain at Maltby Team Ministry, Sheffield. From 1991 to 1995 he was Vicar of Bramley and Ravenfield, Sheffield before becoming the Team Rector of Bramley and Ravenfield with Hooton Roberts and Braithwell. He was made Honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral in June 2000. Since 2000 he has been Suffragan Bishop of Dudley in the diocese of Worcester. He has held a number of significant governance roles within the social housing movement as well as serving on Equality and Diversity Panels for the Homes and Communities Agency and the National Policing Improvement Agency.
David Walker is married to Sue and they have two children. His interests include politics, cricket, rambling, mathematical puzzles, reading and communications. He is an active researcher, using statistical methods to investigate the beliefs and practices of churchgoers.
The Diocese of Manchester has its own announcement here, which is copied below the fold.
John Bingham of the Daily Telegraph anticipated the official announcement by several hours with this piece: Outspoken cleric set to become Bishop of Manchester.
Charlotte Cox of the Manchester Evening News writes that New Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker, is outspoken critic of Government reforms.
Ed Thornton of the Church Times writes that Bishop of Dudley to move to Manchester.
Announcement from the Diocese of Manchester
The new Bishop of Manchester
Published: 05 June 2013
The Prime Minister has announced that the next Bishop of Manchester will be the Rt Revd David Walker. He is currently the Bishop of Dudley.
An experienced and highly regarded spiritual leader, Bishop David is passionate about issues that affect social housing, asylum seekers and the benefit cuts. In early 2013 he questioned both the content and presentation of government policy. Bishop David grew up in Greater Manchester and went to Manchester Grammar School.
Bishop David said; “I feel very honoured to have been asked to be the next Bishop of Manchester. I was born and grew up here and I’m delighted that I will now have the opportunity to give something back to the place that gave me my start in life. I am looking forward to working with the people and communities of what is one of the most richly diverse places in the world. I believe that the Christian faith and the Church of England have a great contribution to make to that richness and I am thrilled at being given a role that will allow me to be part of that.
“I ask the people of Manchester to hold me in their prayers as I prepare to take up my new role here.”
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Manchester said; “Four candidates were interviewed for this post. During interviews, Bishop David emerged as the ideal choice to be the next Bishop of Manchester. Following prayer and reflection it was agreed to ask the Prime Minister to appoint Bishop David and we are delighted that he has agreed.”
David Stuart Walker was born on 30 May 1957 and educated at Manchester Grammar School and King’s College, Cambridge. He took part in the International Mathematical Olympiad – the pinnacle of mathematical competition among high school students – in 1975.
After a period of study at Queen’s College, Birmingham he was ordained in 1983. His career began with a curacy at St Mary Handsworth, after which he was Team Vicar at Maltby, then Bramley before becoming a bishop. He has been Bishop of Dudley since 2000. He is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwr University.
David is married to Sue and they have two children.
Bishop David’s interests
Bishop David has particular experience in Social Housing, having served on the Board of the National Housing Federation from 1996 to 2002. He is a former Chair of South Yorkshire Housing Association and of Safe Haven (a non-profit asylum seeker accommodation service provider).
He currently chairs a small Special Needs Housing Association in Dudley which works particularly with faith based groups. He served on the Housing Management Policy Action Team set up by the Social Exclusion Unite, and wrote a regular column in Housing Today. Until 20120 he was Chair of HACT (Housing Authorities Charitable Trust) which is one of the leading national charities, working with the voluntary sector to help housing providers better meet the needs of tenants. He was also chair of CHADD (Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District) – Church-based special needs housing associations.
Bishop David served on the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights panel for the College of Policing and until recently was on a similar body for the Homes and Communities Agency.
Bishop David recently questioned the way politicians were exaggerating the negative impact of immigration, which he said was “wholly disproportionate” to the real threat.
Bishop David was one of 43 bishops who signed a letter arguing that benefit cuts would have ‘deeply disproportionate effect’ on children.
How the bishop was chosen
Hundreds of people attended meetings to help identify the type of person the next Bishop of Manchester needed to be and to help explore what the task was for the next decade. From this process a Statement of Need was drawn up. A shortlist of candidates was drawn up and four candidates were interviewed.