Thinking Anglicans

Appointment of Bishop of Salisbury

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office – there is more on the Diocese of Salisbury’s website.

Appointment of Bishop of Salisbury: 13 January 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, for election as Bishop of Salisbury.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 13 January 2022

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, for election as Bishop of Salisbury, in succession to The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam following his retirement.

Background

Stephen trained for ministry at Chichester Theological College. He served his title at Sherborne Abbey with Castleton and Lillington in the Diocese of Salisbury and was ordained Priest in 1989.

He became Vicar of Branksome St Aldhelm from 1992 and was additionally appointed Rural Dean of Poole in 2000. In 2001, Stephen was appointed Sub Dean of St Albans, and took up his current role as Dean of Gloucester in 2011.

Stephen is a Church Commissioner and Lead Dean for Safeguarding. He is married to Carol and they have three adult children.

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Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
9 days ago

I’m guessing this will come as a huge relief to many people in Salisbury Diocese, if my information about the shortlist is correct. Stephen Lake knows the Diocese and brings a humane catholic approach to his ministry. Fears of having an evangelical friend of Welby from Durham days, who is being touted to several vacant dioceses (Winchester beware… and Newcastle… and Lincoln) have been allayed. Stephen Lake’s safeguarding portfolio clearly gave him the edge in this particular field and its inclusion in the bio is not an afterthought.

Filigree Jones
Filigree Jones
9 days ago

What Bill said. A genuinely hopeful appointment. He’ll have his work cut out though to reverse the creeping managerialism and theological dumbing down of his predecessor’s final years. Plus it would be nice to hear the word ‘humane’ associated with the diocese of Salisbury again as it always used to be. Wishing him well.

Kate
Kate
9 days ago

Is it common for someone to be promoted from dean straight to diocesan?

I am not complaining about it. I think having flexibility in these things is very positive. I know nothing of him but the brief bio does make it sound like a good choice.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Bishop David Stancliffe came from Portsmouth to Salisbury

Nigel LLoyd
Nigel LLoyd
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

The previous bishop went from being Dean of Portsmouth to Bishop of Salisbury. The one before that was appointed from being a Canon of Westminster Abbey.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Justin Welby Dean of Liverpool to Bishop of Durham
Pete Wilcox Dean of Liverpool to Bishop of Sheffield
Vivienne Faulk Dean of York to Bishop of Bristol
Jonathan Frost Dean of York to Bishop of Portsmouth
I think Michael Perham was Dean of Derby before becoming Bishop
Stephen Platten was Dean of Norwich before becoming Bishop of Wakefield
John Gladwin was Provost of Sheffield before becoming Bishop of Guildford
I think Eric Kemp was Dean of Worcester before becoming Bishop of Chichester

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Simon Bravery
8 days ago

John Tiarks went from Provost of Bradford Cathedral to Bishop of Chelmsford in 1962. In 1969 the Dean of Adelaide was consecrated assistant bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide, and held both posts. Interestingly, at the time of the consecration Lord Fisher of Lambeth was in Adelaide visiting his son Charles who was a headmaster there, and took part in the consecration. I wonder whether he needed to borrow an episcopal outfit for the occasion. The analogy with Adelaide is not precise, but Bishop Colin Dunlop, who in 1949 moved from being Bishop Suffragan of Jarrow to being Dean of… Read more »

John Beaverstock
John Beaverstock
Reply to  Clifford Jones
8 days ago

Until quite recently (late 20th century) the Dean of Adelaide was not in charge of St Peter’s Cathedral. That was the role of the Archbishop’s Vicar. Something to do with the Bishop of (I think) Exeter being locked out of his cathedral in the 1870s and the Bishop of Adelaide wanting to set things up so that couldn’t happen to him.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  John Beaverstock
8 days ago

Thank you, John, for this comment. I have been to the oldest edition of Crockford I can lay my hands on – that for 1949-50 – and ascertained that the Dean of Adelaide then, who had held the post since 1933, was George Herbert Jose. He had previously been a CMS missionary in China. The Bishop’s Vicar at that time (Adelaide was not an archbishopric until 1975) was one Horace Percy Finnis. The 1969-70 Crockford states that Lionel Renfrey was appointed Dean of Adelaide and Bishop’s Vicar in 1966, and became assistant bishop in addition to that in 1969. He… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Vivienne Faull now Bishop of Bristol, who was Dean of York, comes to mind. I’m sure there have been plenty of others. The importance of the office of Cathedral Dean is not to be under-estimated, and it can also happen the other way round. The successor Dean at York, Jonathan Frost, is a bishop (and shortly returns to Portsmouth as its Diocesan), and that is equally true of the present Dean of Windsor. As long ago as 1961 the first Dean of Guildford, George Clarkson, had been a bishop. And in the context of Salisbury, in the mid-19th century the… Read more »

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
7 days ago

Yes, Clarkson had been Bishop Suffragan of Pontefract. For a suffragan bishop to become a cathedral dean was not all that rare at that time. I can think of a Bishop of Burnley who became Dean of Lichfield (Holderness), a Bishop of Maidstone who became Dean of Rochester (Betts) and a Bishop of Stepney who became Dean of Salisbury (Moberly). I can also think of a Bishop of Dunwich (Maddock) who became Provost of St Edmundsbury.

I can think of a Diocesan Bishop of Nelson, New Zealand (Hulme-Moir) who became Dean of Sydney.

peter Kettle
peter Kettle
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Eric Kemp, from the Deanery of Worcester to the See of Chichester; perhaps not too much in common between the two of them, though Stephen did train at Chichester Theological during Kemp’s (long) time as Diocesan.

Graeme Knowles became Bishop of Sodor and Man from the Deanery of Carlisle, only to return as a Dean (St Pauls) a few years later.

Alastair
Alastair
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Current Bishops of Sheffield and Bristol were Deans

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Kate asked “Is it common for someone to be promoted from dean straight to diocesan?”

His predecessor as bishop of Salisbury was promoted straight from parish to diocesan. Admittedly was quite a high profile parish job – St Martin’s in the Fields in Trafalgar Square.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Holtam

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Kate
9 days ago

Viv Faull was appointed Bishop of Bristol direct from the Deanery of York.

David Exham
David Exham
Reply to  Janet Fife
8 days ago

Justin Welby was Dean of Liverpool when he was appointed to Durham.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Kate
8 days ago

It may not seem common, Kate, because there has been (what I believe is called) a ‘direction of travel’ over the past fifteen years that has seen only one or two deans become bishops (and no precentors become deans). We now have a new Senior Appointments Secretary and, while Stephen Lake’s appointment probably didn’t happen on his watch, it is to be hoped that it represents a new ‘direction of travel’ that doesn’t involve driving up safe, grey, unimaginative bureaucratic Evangelical cul-de-sacs. It may also be the case that the Salisbury Vacancy in See representatives were sufficiently robust not to… Read more »

Tim Barker
Tim Barker
9 days ago

Much delight from the Channel Islands, as we look forward to Stephen being Bishop for the Channel Islands when the legal processes are completed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Tim Barker
9 days ago

Winchester Requiescat in Pace!

God 'elp as all
God 'elp as all
9 days ago

Noting the ‘traditional’ inclusion of his marital ‘status’- a ‘huge relief to many’?
When to expect a press release regarding the appointment of a Dioceses Commission Chair and a review of Dioceses?

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
9 days ago

I’m hoping that the next cohort of diocesans will have the courage to break ranks with the management/strategy culture that we read about so often in HoB meeting summaries and which is so obviously depressing clergy and laity. I hope also they will join forces diocese to diocese and with their respective DBFs to challenge the Commissioners about funding mainstream parish ministry. He could have a role to play in this as a Commissioner. Any diocesan who breaks ranks in this way deserves to be rewarded with lots of good clergy and laity applying for jobs. It may be the… Read more »

Roger William Beck
Roger William Beck
8 days ago

Is he the first English diocesan bishop to have trained at Chichester since its foundation in 1839?

Fr Keith
Fr Keith
Reply to  Roger William Beck
8 days ago

Probably, although that should read ‘Church of England’. When I was there – before Stephen Lake was born! – the principal said that the only Cicestrian to become a bishop was Gordon Wheeler, Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  Fr Keith
8 days ago

Two English suffragans, Michael Manktelow of Basingstoke and
Morris Maddocks of Selby, were Chichester trained, as was Christopher Luxmoore, Bishop of Bermuda. They were all at Chichester Theological College when John Moorman, later Bishop of Ripon, was Principal.

Robin Ward
Robin Ward
Reply to  Fr Keith
8 days ago

Gordon Wheeler was at Staggers. He was our first English diocesan, our second was Eric Kemp.

cryptogram
cryptogram
8 days ago

Stephen is a gifted and witty preacher. I hope he gets more opportunities to use his gift than the 3 minutes at a confirmation. Though one can be pretty sure that confirmation candidates will remember his preaching on their significant day. He will be missed in Gloucester – first David Hoyle, now Stephen Lake. But Archdeacon Hilary is pretty good too, until the episcopal tumbril calls for her.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  cryptogram
8 days ago

There’s nothing says a bishop can’t preach for longer than 3 minutes at a confirmation. In fact, I’ve never heard a confirmation sermon as short as that.

Simon W
Simon W
8 days ago

Reading the Church Times report and the diocese’s statement of needs it’s clear what a challenging task Stephen and his senior team have before them.
Perhaps the Leicester model of a priest to 12 churches is in their minds.
Has Salisbury brought the ‘local lad’ back home to wield the axe and lead his diocese through some painful re-structuring?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon W
8 days ago

The Upper Wylye, Beaminster, Golden Cap, Pewsey, Chalke Valley, Melbury, etc. benefices already furnish instances of units that comfortably fall within that category, or surpass it (in some instances nearly double it). These monster benefices have been in place for a considerable period of time, and cover a very large proportion of the diocese. The Commissioners are likely to have netted comfortably in excess of £500m in the last financial year off the post-lockdown boom, having sat back and collected higher rents from tenants (whose payments will have often tracked or exceeded RPI), firms (whose workers will have seen their… Read more »

Simon W
Simon W
Reply to  Froghole
8 days ago

Not sure how up to date your Salisbury file is, Froghole (am presuming that’s not your name), Beaminster Team will likely be reorganised further or lose a clergy post on the retirement of its current incumbent. Golden Cap had more stipendiary clergy until not long ago, now just a hard pressed Team Rector and a p-t team vicar covering a huge area.

Insider
Insider
Reply to  Simon W
3 days ago

there are more clergy now in Golden Cap than for many years. Team Rector, two Team Vicars (one Sunday plus 3 days and one Sunday plus 2 days), plus an Associate Priest, plus 3 active PTO clergy. sustainable ministry does not mean undoable roles, it just means realistic models.

Last edited 3 days ago by Insider
God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Froghole
8 days ago

Not only Salisbury, or Leicester, or Chelmsford … This-

https://d3hgrlq6yacptf.cloudfront.net/5f3ffdd147bb3/content/pages/documents/profile_shelfield-and-high-heath.pdf

One of three simllar in Lichfield:

‘a three year interim position, potentially renewable for a further three years. The decision re renewal will depend on both congregation and minister desiring that to happen and the church being financially healthy enough to meet its Common Fund payments for a further term.’

Survival of the fattest? Darwin vs Wilberforce?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon W
8 days ago

I should add that the distress of the diocese has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, there is neither an adequate recent history of the cathedral (Mr Papadopulos please note) nor of the diocese. We commonly think of Dorset and Wiltshire as affluent counties, but until relatively recently this was far from the case. They *had* been affluent, and there were relatively few poor livings (though there were enough), but there was a gradual bouleversement in local fortunes. By the middle of the nineteenth century agricultural wages were lower from the chalk belt between a little west of Winchester to… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Froghole
8 days ago

“We commonly think of Dorset and Wiltshire as affluent counties, but until relatively recently this was far from the case” writes Froghole. To these we should add Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire – indeed anywhere in the south of England where thin downland and poor chalk soils inhibited crop yields in times of ‘up corn, down horn’. The game changer agriculturally was the advent of artificial fertiliser and the combine drill post WWII; the latter allowing the fertiliser to be put adjacent to the plant. Within two generations these regions went from relying on a supply of Presbyterian tenants from the Scottish… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Allan Sheath
8 days ago

Many thanks, Mr Sheath! Indeed. We now talk quite often of much of the country ‘falling behind’ (e.g., many of the seaside places). There was a period between about 1840 and 1910 when it was the industrial North which was the advanced part of the country, whilst much of the south-west or the Welsh borders (where the one prop to agriculture was dairy) which were falling ever further behind. In addition to the factors you have so rightly identified, I would add the system of guaranteed living standards achieved via taxpayer (note, not consumer) funded ‘deficiency payments’: https://bahs.org.uk/AGHR/ARTICLES/33n1a7.pdf. It was… Read more »

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Froghole
7 days ago

I remember that prophetic figure, Hampshire farmer and journalist, John Cherrington, warning farmers that while deficiency payments may in the early days have ensured them a guaranteed income (and avoided civil unrest by keeping food prices down), but in the long term they would prove an irresistible target for future chancellors looking to make cuts.

In turn the cuts led to greater efficiency, increased mechanisation and the shedding of labour on farms. One result was the farmer/churchwarden going the same way as the 19th century squarson.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Allan Sheath
8 days ago

To which I should add Devon and Cornish tenant farmers from the ill-drained soils of the Culm measures. Again, Chapel (Bible Christian strand of Methodism) not Church, and today probably neither.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Allan Sheath
8 days ago

Wiltshire farmers may have become wealthy after artificial fertilisers post WWII made grain production profitable. but that is about to change.

Fertilisers need huge amounts of energy to manufacture, and energy is no longer cheap. The sums might soon no longer add up, which will lead to a lot of changes to the villages and landscape around where I live, let alone the cost of food.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon Dawson
8 days ago

Many thanks. Quite so. We have been here before. In the 1930s Michael Postan argued that population pressures (the absence of warfare, saving only the barons’ wars against Henry III, and the willingness of landlords to accept subinfeudation) led to the cultivation of marginal lands. There was then no guano, still less any manufactured nitrates. The land was therefore fertilised using animal dung (but also human soil, rags, etc.). However, rising population meant that more land needed to be reserved for grain, meaning less for pasture. This meant that, in default of sufficient manure, thin soils became exhausted much more… Read more »

Father David
Father David
8 days ago

A perfect lesson in how NOT to conduct a Confirmation Service can be found on pages 10 and 11 of John Kelly’s “Purple Feaver”. Personally, I would have thought that Douglas Feaver’s episcopate at Peterborough deserves more than just a 24 page booklet.

Father David
Father David
8 days ago

This thread contains many examples of deans who became bishops. Regrettably there was one significant dean who wasn’t given a bishopric – Jeffrey John of St. Albans.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Father David
8 days ago

In view of the unhappy development of the Church in Wales since he lost out to the then dean of Salisbury in 2017, his failure to be preferred to Llandaff might count as a lucky escape. I take your point, however.

Michael H.
Michael H.
Reply to  Froghole
6 days ago

Froghole – the unhappy development in Llandaff, which has spilled onto the pages of the Church Times and Western Mail, probably wouldn’t have happened if Jeffrey John had become Bishop of Llandaff. Apart from June Osborne and Jeffrey John being the same age, they have nothing else in common. Jeffrey John is from the area, he’s a native Welsh speaker, his management skills are exemplary. Unfortunately in Church and in State, the best choice is sometimes not appointed. Cherry Vann is Bishop of Monmouth, in a same sex relationship, appointed without the same shenanigans which scuppered Jeffrey John. Many of… Read more »

David Richards
David Richards
Reply to  Michael H.
5 days ago

You’ve analysed the situation well, Michael. Those of us who have direct experience of life in and around Salisbury Cathedral during the previous 20 years said, when we heard the news in 2017, it would probably end in tears. It was (at best) a most unwise appointment on the rebound of all the negative fall-out from the way Jeffrey John was (frankly) abused by the electoral system in Wales – though I gather he wasn’t the first and probably won’t be the last. Meanwhile, we are now being told there will be a ‘farewell’ service in Winchester for Tim Dakin!

Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
8 days ago

Regardless of their provenance.. shall we just rejoice in Salisbury’s capacity to once more choose a pragmatic, warm , pastoral, sensitive and bold Bishop.

Disillusioned Anglican
Disillusioned Anglican
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
1 day ago

I for one am totally rejoicing after the shambles that much of Salisbury became under Steven’s predecessor

William Price
William Price
8 days ago

Bishop Gordon Wheeler of Leeds trained at St Stephen’s House. His connection with the Diocese of Chichester was that he served his title at St Bartholomew, Brighton.

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