on Friday, 1 October 2021 at 8.49 pm by Peter Owen
categorised as Church of England
The Rt Revd Paul Slater, Bishop of Kirkstall, an area bishop in the diocese of Leeds, announced his retirement today. He will leave on 31 January 2022. The diocesan announcement is here.
Who? Bishop of where? I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve heard of this bishop or his see – might this retirement be an opportunity for a bit of slimming down of the episcopate?
Kirkstall is the episcopal area for Leeds. The name of the bishopric was changed from Richmond only three or fours years after Richmond was revived on the creation of the new Leeds diocese. I have no idea why the change was made, and so soon, but Kirkstall was a monastic foundation in what Is now Leeds. Paul Slater and I were on the same POT course back in the 80s and I’ve bumped into him once or twice since. He always seemed to be a good chap, quietly efficient. He has never served outside the diocese which may be why… Read more »
Thank you. A quick google search this morning told me the brief history of the See of Kirkstall and revealed that the predecessor See of Richmond was so essential to the mission of the Church of England in Yorkshire that for most of its history it was in abeyance.
The naming issue arises from the existence of an Episcopal Area named Leeds, within a diocese also now named Leeds. Clearly a different name was required, and at the time of creation, the historic title of Richmond was the only one available. But this refers to a market town that is towards the northern end of what is now a distinct Episcopal Area, that of Ripon, and is some 60 miles away by road from the metropolis of Leeds. Within the modern episcopal area of Leeds, Kirkstall was thought to be the most suitable new name to choose, being a… Read more »
For those interested in seeing the reasons for the revival of the former see of Richmond and the name change to Kirkstall (the change being approved by General Synod on 9 February 2018), see the Report from the Dioceses Commission, GS 2085, dated 3 January 2018: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2018-01/GS%202085%20-%20See%20of%20Kirkstall.pdf With regard to those commenters querying the justification for the Diocese of Leeds having this extra bishop, it is to be noted that paragraph 6 of the Commission’s report stated: “Its agreement to the change of name is without prejudice to any decision that the Commission might take about filling the See after… Read more »
The Diocese Commission stated: it would still anticipate reaching a view on whether to refill the renamed See in the light of a submission from the diocesan bishop in the usual way. Therein lies the problem – a submission from the Diocesan Bishop. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas! When the previous Bishop of Southampton left to become Dean of York, the position was advertised in the Church Times even before he had left. I wrote to the Diocese Commision suggesting that in the light of the fact that the Diocese of Winchester no longer had responsibility for the Channel Islands… Read more »
In the light of subsequent events in Winchester diocese, it was, perhaps, prescient to appoint Debbie Sellin to succeed Jonathan Frost as suffragan Bishop of Southampton!
All the best to Paul. On a separate but slihtly connected subject; how many bishops does the Diocese of Leeds need?
Adrian- I understand Leeds had more bishops after ‘reorganisation’ than before 😉
Fr Dexter- I say this every time; response nothing. Time for the Dioceses Commission to get to work. Anything to do with ‘governance’? My ‘starter for ten’: 26 dioceses.
Adrian, apparently it has one more now than when it was three separate dioceses. In Yorkshire it may be described in some quarters as having a brass neck.
When the profile for the new Bishop of Leeds (or West Yorkshire and the Dales as it was first clumsily named) was drawn up, it stated with considerable weight that the Bishop was to be someone who would give a substantial tranche of his time (this was just before the first women were consecrated) to the Diocese, and not take on additional, external roles, to enable the leadership and cohesion of the Diocese to be his primary focus. That seems to have been conveniently forgotten over the past six or seven years. Before we knew it, a suffragan was appointed… Read more »
Bill, it would be helpful if you could name ‘the patch of ground’ and explain your reasoning other than the age of those to whom you allude.
Although they could get their full church pension at 68, I believe 70 is the retiring age in the Church of England so the 2 clergy to whom you refer have another 4 years of pastoral care to give. I know that some are grateful for it.
I believe it’s earlier for those who were ordained before 2000 (or the completion of 32 years service).
A couple of related points: What is an Area Bishop … Suffragan … Diocesan … one in the House of Lords … for? I find it ‘disappointing’ that the CofE chose to name some bishops after places with a RC bishop, like Leeds, Liverpool, – this serves to complicate matters for ‘journalists’ and the person in the street, and to confirm there being more than one holy catholic and apostolic church, let alone the others …and anything relating to royal peculiars, cathedrals, minsters, deans etc. Time to fire can(n)ons, canon ‘law’ … ‘patron’isation… Did I miss that in the Governance… Read more »
I suspect that in a month or two some cleric or another will be telling us how thrilled and delighted they are to be the new Bishop of Kirkstall and what a wonderful affinity they already have with the city of Leeds. Perhaps they could pile up the deckchairs and stand on them to string up another line of bunting on the poop deck.
… and humbled. You forgot humbled, Dean.