Thinking Anglicans

Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond

Press release from Number 10.

Suffragan See of Richmond: Paul Slater

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
First published: 18 June 2015

The Venerable Paul Slater is appointed as Her Majesty’s [sic] Suffragan See of Richmond for the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Paul Slater, Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven in the newly created diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, to the Suffragan See of Richmond also in the newly created diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Paul Slater studied at Corpus Christi, Oxford and trained for the Ordained Ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. He was ordained Deacon in 1984 and served his title in the diocese of Bradford. He became Priest-in-Charge of Cullingworth in 1988, before taking on the role of Chaplain to the Bishop of Bradford n 1993. Paul Slater returned to parish ministry to serve as Rector of Haworth in 1995, before being appointed as Bishop’s Officer for Ministry and Mission in the Diocese of Bradford in 2001. He took up the role of Archdeacon of Craven in 2005, where he served until taking up the role of Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven in the newly created Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales in 2014.

He is married to Beverley, a manager in the NHS leading service improvement, and they have two grown up sons. His interests include tennis, cricket, cooking and workplace mediation.

Nick Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, has written about the appointment.

A new Bishop of Richmond

It has been announced this morning that the Venerable Paul Slater, currently Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, is to be the Bishop of Richmond in the Diocese of Leeds (West Yorkshire and the Dales).

Paul has served his entire ministry in West Yorkshire, knows the territory better than anyone, and has walked (at some cost) the journey of transition from three historic dioceses into the one we now have.

Why Richmond? Well, we argued throughout the process for creating the new diocese that the diocesan bishop should not have responsibility for creating and running an episcopal area (of which we have five). We lost the argument. However, the experience of the last year has proved us right. The quickest and easiest way to add capacity was to revive the dormant See of Richmond and appoint a suffragan bishop to it. However, based in Leeds, the new bishop will essentially cover the Leeds Episcopal Area, setting me free (as diocesan bishop) to attend in more detail to the diocesan creation and transformation.

Paul will hit the ground running – a key criterion for this post. He will need no induction into the diocese, the journey we are on, the challenges we face, or the structures we are creating/transitioning.

For the record, I looked at four people: two women and two men. Paul was unanimously approved by the advisory group that interviewed him. I am delighted with his appointment and look forward to what lies ahead.

The diocesan website has Archdeacon Paul Slater to be new Bishop of Richmond. This notes that “Paul Slater will be consecrated as Bishop of Richmond at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday 19 July at 4pm.”

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Graham WilliamsPete BroadbentFather DavidRPNewarkSimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
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John Roch
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John Roch

Bishop of Richmond to be Paul Slater
or
Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond
?

Father David
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Father David

Another win for Cranmer Hall but shurely shome mishtake he happens to be male! England’s largest diocese overflowing with bishops and not a single woman among them.

Yorkshireman
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Yorkshireman

Nothing against the person appointed – a good person. But why does there need to be a 6th Bishop. The reasons given do not square with the Statement of Needs published before the appointment of the Diocesan Bishop which said that he should be “willing, for the first 3-5 years, to give priority to the local Church over the national Like every diocesan, our bishop will play a full part in national life and the central Church structures. However, in his early years in the diocese, it is hoped and envisaged that he will prioritise the development of new relationships… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
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Proud as I am of living in this diocese, it is not the largest in the Church of England, on any measure.

Father David
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Father David

My word, is this a first, someone living in Yorkshire, prepared to admit that something in that area of Northern England doesn’t qualify to be “the biggest”? Well, I’ll go to the bottom of our stairs!

Father David
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Father David

P. S. “It is not the largest in the Church of England, on any measure”. Doesn’t Leeds qualify as the diocese with the “largest” number of serving bishops? Name a diocese with more than six bishops then.

DBD
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Comrade Yorkshireman makes excellent points.

Turbulent Priest
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Turbulent Priest

The comment about the length and composition of the shortlist is a small welcome step towards transparency.

Peter Owen
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John Roch

On reflection I think “Paul Slater to be Bishop of Richmond” is better so I have changed the headline.

John Roch
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John Roch

I feared that successive Bishops of Richmond might have to change their names.

Father David
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Father David

“a small welcome step towards transparency”
In Unseen Things Above Catherine Fox in describing the transparency of the Church of England in choosing a new Diocesan Bishop of Lindchester as rather like a net curtain at a window – you can see out but you cannot see in. I won’t give the plot away but leave it to TA readers imaginations to guess whether or not Guilden Hargreaves, Principal of Barchester Theological College and openly Gay – the Jeffrey John type character, is appointed Bishop of Lindchester or not.

RPNewark
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RPNewark

Father David: Name a diocese with more than six bishops then.

So West Yorkshire & the Dales catches up to London – no wonder +Richard Londin: wants to revive the See of Islington.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

I understand why the Richmond name has been used, to avoid further delay, but it will be highly confusing to continue this name, if as intended the role is to work effectively as Deputy Area Bishop for Leeds. The comparison that comes to mind is Canterbury-Dover.

Richmond is practically on the northern boundary of the diocese, and of the Ripon Episcopal Area, whose southern boundary is the Harrogate Deanery where I live. Perhaps a suitably downmarket suburb within the Leeds Episcopal Area might be chosen for a new name, in due course.

Father David
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Father David

Leeds and London – SNAP: indeed when Islington comes on stream – six bishops a piece but the difference being the new Richmond will spend 100% of his time within the diocese of Leeds. When Nicky Gumbel is appointed to Islington part of his ministry will be spent overseeing church plants outside the diocese of London. So perhaps London with maybe five and a half bishops won’t quite match the six bishops in the diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

RPNewark
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RPNewark

Pardon me, Father David, but London, (pace my earlier post) already has seven bishops (granted that three are vacant at present): London, Kensington (vac), Willesden, Edmonton (vac), Stepney, Islington (vac) and Fulham.

Father David
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Father David

RPN, I concede that the mystical and Biblical seven is one more than half a dozen – maths was never my strong point. When the trinity of bishops (Kensington, Edmonton and Islington) are consecrated in St. Paul’s later this year the Diocese of London will have more bishops than any other C of E diocese. Indeed it will be a mini-Province in itself. Of the three new consecrands it would seem that the next Kensington is the most likely to be a woman, unless, of course, like West Yorkshire and the Dales they continue the tradition of an all male… Read more »

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

Seven in London is correct. Announcements still awaited on the three new ones. Interviews have taken place for all of them. Now somewhere in the pipeline between the Diocese and Buck House. The waiting is a pain in the neck for all concerned, simply because there is so much to do to prepare for them (housing, office, admin arrangements, new Archdeacons, etc.) Still aiming for September consecrations.

Graham Williams
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Graham Williams

The waiting is indeed a pain but surely understandable because of the amount of hurdles that need to jumped through first.

+Pete is there a huge rush to make these announcements?… If the consecrations are in September, then wouldn’t a Early August announcement be just as alright?

Pete Broadbent
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Pete Broadbent

It’s a pain because of all the liaison and conversation we need to do to set things up, which you can’t do when we’re all required to play secret squirrel until it’s all announced. It’s all so juvenile, dancing round and not being able to tell X that Y is the next bishop, having to assume that Z doesn’t know, even though they need to, because they have to be able to talk about other appointments. You can’t hit the ground running when your legs are tied together by the slowness of DBS checks and whether the Queen is around… Read more »

Graham Williams
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Graham Williams

Yes in that case, I understand why the secrecy makes it complicated.

We’ll just have to be patient and wait a while longer… To be honest +Pete, I am finding all the speculations and rumours more interesting that the announcements will probably be.