Thinking Anglicans

Appointment of Bishop of Winchester

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office
There is more on the Winchester and Truro diocesan websites.

Appointment of Bishop of Winchester: 6 July 2023

The King has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, for election as Bishop of Winchester.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 6 July 2023

The King has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, for election as Bishop of Winchester, in succession to The Right Reverend Dr Timothy Dakin, following his retirement.

Philip was educated at Southampton University and Magdalen College, Oxford, before training for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his title at St James’, Gerrards Cross and St James’, Fulmer, in the Diocese of Oxford, and was ordained priest in 1989.

In 1992, Philip was appointed Vicar of St James’, West Streatham, in the Diocese of Southwark. Between 1998 and 2006, Philip worked for the Church Pastoral Aid Society during which time he held several roles. From 2007, he served as Chaplain of St Michael’s, Paris, in the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe and, in 2012, he was appointed Chief Executive of the Church Mission Society.

In 2019, Philip took up his current role as Bishop of Truro. He is married to Ruth, a former strategic planner, and they have one adult daughter.

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Shamus
Shamus
4 months ago

Another “strategy” looming for Winchester diocese, I presume🤪

Alwyn Hall
Alwyn Hall
Reply to  Shamus
4 months ago

Given that the incoming Bishop of Winchester has parish experience both as a curate and a priest, in England and France, and has already been a Diocesan Bishop as well as having senior roles in both CPAS and CMS, we are all hoping that support will come first over strategy, pastoral skills over presentation, leadership over management, and Christian love over coercive control. He is significantly more experienced in all areas of ministry than his predecessor, and would therefore appear to have an understanding of what a priest actually does. All dioceses need a strategy, not least for ensuring they… Read more »

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Shamus
4 months ago

It was interesting to read two articles in the Church Times on 2nd June and a letter in the paper the following week regarding a strategic plan for the Diocese of Truro. The implication is that the plan is being imposed on the diocese by the bishop. Let us hope that history does not repeat itself.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Philip Johanson
4 months ago

Many thanks. I suspect that it is this plan: https://trurodiocese.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/TDS2305-Diocesan-Plan-for-Change-and-Renewal-for-Diocesan-Synod-May-2023.pdf. Having looked over it, it does appear to be far less reductive and destructive than the Lincoln plan (which was endorsed by its diocesan synod on a mistaken ‘there-is-no-alternative’ basis). Lincoln is, of course, a far better endowed diocese than Truro.

Shamus
Shamus
Reply to  Philip Johanson
4 months ago

I was thinking the same. The bishop of Chelmsford seems to be one of the wisest leaders around at the moment. Starting off by a genuine period of listening. And I get the impression she doesn’t like twee taglines. She has said she is a bishop, not a CEO. Let’s hope Winchester don’t just get a version of the Truro plan simply imposed.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
4 months ago

Interesting to note, as I am sure others will point out, that Bishop Philip directly succeeds Tim Dakin both as Bishop of Winchester and formerly as Chief Executive (earlier called General Secretary) of the CMS. I think that Tim Dakin with Sarah Mullally were the chief co-consecrators at Bishop Philip’s consecration in St Paul’s Cathedral by Archbishop Justin Welby.

Froghole
Froghole
4 months ago

So he will have had to clean up after the same person twice! I assume that was one of the main reasons why he was appointed, although it will probably also help (amongst other things) that he is Hampshire born and bred.

Angusian
Angusian
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Just as David Hope was always brought in to clear up ecclesiastical messes; for St Stephen’s House, than All Saints Margaret Street after poor David Sparrow, then to the Diocese of London to clear up the chaos of Graham Leonard’s tenure!

Simon W
Simon W
4 months ago

He was Tim Dakin’s immediate successor at CMS. Used to clearing up after him?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
4 months ago

This is an excellent appointment. Given the background and the challenge, the translation of a diocesan was always on the cards and in Philip Mounstephen the CNC has nominated a proven leader. I can think of few better candidates, and I know nearly all of them. He will of course now go straight into the House of Lords where he will be able to make a significant contribution. His work on the review of Foreign and Commonwealth Office support for persecuted Christians was much noted.

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Anthony Archer
4 months ago

Anthony: do you have a hotline from CNC regarding your knowledge of nearly all the other candidates?!

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  peter kettle
4 months ago

Just to be clear, lest anyone should think that I might in some way be privy to anything I shouldn’t be, I served as a central member of the CNC between 2017-2021, and earlier 2005-2007, in particular on the London CNC in 2017 and the York CNC in 2020, so you might expect me to know a thing or two about current diocesan bishops. In addition, I used to advise some diocesans on suffragan appointments. From my longer service on the General Synod from 1993-2010, and 2015-2021, sad chap that I am, I know rather a lot of bishops. I… Read more »

Realist
Realist
Reply to  Anthony Archer
4 months ago

I don’t know +Truro myself, and certainly have no comparable claim to Anthony’s for being so Episcopally well connected (though I’m sure my record of being a thorn in the side of the Episcopate is his equal, if not stronger!). But for what it’s worth, I’m hearing a very balanced overall opinion from within Truro Diocese. There are very many positive comments in different places about his attitude to individuals and active support for them (including the kinds of little but very valuable actions busy people like Diocesan Bishops can overlook or feel are not a sufficient priority to be… Read more »

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
4 months ago

Sorry….but yet another evangelical senior appointment.
Oh for a bit of balance.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
4 months ago

Although Truro was at one time thought of as fairly catholic – in contrast to the Methodism once strong in those parts. Graham Leonard went from Truro to London

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Struggling Anglican
4 months ago

When I was ordained in 1987, evangelicals were complaining that few evangelicals were appointed to senior posts. They were right, too. The wheel seems to have come full circle.

Struggling Anglican
Struggling Anglican
Reply to  Janet Fife
4 months ago

Turning half circle may be fine but not full circle!

Tim Barker
Tim Barker
4 months ago

An excellent appointment. Good news for Winchester.

Eschaton
Eschaton
4 months ago

I have no reason to doubt that he is ‘good’. Could he not have continued to be good in Truro?

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Eschaton
4 months ago

A very interesting question bearing in mind he has launched a strategy in the diocese which he says will take10 years to fully implement. It does seem strange that he is leaving so soon after its launch. Will the diocese want a new bishop to carry on with the implementation or will it be back to the drawing board as a new bishop might have different ideas. Realist above makes some interesting comments regarding views from the diocese of Truro on the way that the strategy has been developed with a top down approach. The bishop as you would expect… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Eschaton
4 months ago

In spite of the battering it has taken, Winchester is a more senior bishopric and so this is an advancement. As Anthony Archer points out it carries immediate entry to the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual. Having said that, I don’t think the bishop is far down the line to join them anyway.

There are already the strongest hints above on this thread why he has special experience to bring to bear on the new role and its challenges.

WYH
WYH
4 months ago

Thank you for your comments on this, keep them rolling….. it won’t be plain sailing for him but he will be well-versed about the fiasco regarding the previous Bishop’s tenure. There is much healing to be done in this Diocese. I’m a communicant member, on the electoral roll, of a rural Church in this Diocese which has had “pastoral reorganisation” forced upon its Benefice and without a Minister for 2 years. The Commissioners are dealing with this at present. I would hope that Bishop Mounstephen and his family have a warm welcome from all of us in the Diocese. Challenges… Read more »

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

With two appointments now under their belt let’s hope the CNC members get a bit more creative with the forthcoming appointments. Although I fear that while the current Abp of Canterbury in post someone who rejects national vision and strategy is unlikely.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

A theological mind might be useful?

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Perry Butler
4 months ago

Yes please, and willing to look at every issue and every decision through the lens of mainstream frontline ministry; who ensures that no decisions are taken without the stakeholders in the room and that councils, synods and committees are empowered with meaningful agendas and responsibilities; someone who secures more from the Church Commissioners and less from their parishes; who filters out the dross from NCIs before it lands in parochial inboxes; willing to sit on their own at lunch at HoB meetings; an apologist (in the right sense) for the Church of England; someone versed in demolishing failed governance in… Read more »

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Stephen Griffiths
4 months ago

So, vacancies at Exeter and at Truro, or, another way, a vacancy at Exeter & Truro?

A timely opportunity for the Dioceses Commission to be called to action, beyond offering an answer to a single written question of General Synod? Breath to be held?

Anthony Archer
Anthony Archer
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

My understanding, which may be wrong, is that under current arrangements the resignation of a diocesan inexorably starts the CNC process. Of course the Diocese of Exeter and Truro makes good sense, but I don’t think the Dioceses Commission is even close to facilitating that. It would of course be a huge diocese. Bude to Penzance in Truro alone is I think some 100 miles. But with three (?) suffragans, and demoting one of the diocesans (akin to Leeds) it would drive out lots of costs, returning the limited funds released to the parishes.

Cantab
Cantab
4 months ago

But does he like hill walking?

Malcolm Gray
Malcolm Gray
4 months ago

Can somebody inform the good Bishop that he is supposed to wear an alb under eucharistic vestments not a rochet

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