Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Portsmouth

Press release from Number 10. There is more on the Portsmouth diocesan wesbite.

Appointment of Bishop of Portsmouth: 8 October 2021

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost for election as Bishop of Portsmouth.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 8 October 2021

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, for election as Bishop of Portsmouth, in succession to The Right Reverend Christopher Foster, following his retirement on 31st May 2021.

He will lead the Church of England’s Diocese of Portsmouth, which covers 133 parishes across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Background

Jonathan was educated at the universities of Aberdeen and Nottingham; he prepared for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge and served his curacy at St Giles’ West Bridgford, Nottingham. Jonathan was ordained priest in 1994 and, alongside parish duties, served as a Police Chaplain.

From 1997 to 2002, Jonathan was Rector of Ash in the Diocese of Guildford. In 2002 he took up a new joint post as Anglican Chaplain to the University of Surrey and Residentiary Canon at Guildford Cathedral. For 11 years, Jonathan taught Christian Doctrine on the Local Diocesan Ministry Course. He served as Bishop’s Advisor for Inter-Faith Relations and on General Synod. He was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Surrey in 2012.

Jonathan served as Suffragan Bishop of Southampton from November 2010 to January 2019. In these years Jonathan chaired the Portsmouth and Winchester Joint Diocesan Board of Education and became Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

He was installed as Dean of York at the Feast of the Presentation in February 2019. Among his priorities are prayer and Benedictine spirituality, evangelism, discipleship and working with others to tackle what he describes as ‘the scandal of poverty’.

He said: “I am learning to walk more gently on the earth and to partner with others in seeking climate justice. Inspiration to work for the integrity of creation, in my experience at least, has most often come through encounter with visionary young people.” He is a trustee of USPG, an Anglican mission agency.

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Fr Dean
Fr Dean
14 days ago

The diesel fumes have hardly dissipated from the last removal van at the Deanery in York and now there will be another van pulling up. York had all the brouhaha with the bell ringers under the previous Dean and now Bishop Frost is leaving them after only 2.5 years.

Last edited 14 days ago by Simon Sarmiento
James Watson
James Watson
14 days ago

Those of us who knew Bishop Jonathan well in the Winchester Diocese, and who have experienced his intelligence and humanity, not to say his pastoral care and deeply rooted concern for clergy and parishes, can only sympathise with York Minster at the loss of a wonderful Dean. But we can also rejoice with the Diocese of Portsmouth on the appointment of their new bishop. It is absolutely right that his many gifts, ideally suited to episcopal ministry, should now be expressed in this new role. There is no doubt that this is a ministry to which he has always been… Read more »

David Foster
David Foster
Reply to  James Watson
14 days ago

Wholeheartedly agree

Michael
Michael
Reply to  David Foster
10 days ago

Likewise!

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
14 days ago

An opportunity to rearrange diocese deckchairs passes by? Portsmouth- one of the smaller dioceses. Maybe an opportunity yet for the Dioceses Commission to consider a reintegration with the Diocese of Winchester?
https://www.churchofengland.org/about/leadership-and-governance/dioceses-commission
Was there any reference to it in the Governance Review?

peter kettle
peter kettle
14 days ago

Forgive this as a bit of speculation, but it feels as though he has been on what the cruise industry calls a re-positioning cruise! Did he go to York as a bit of a rescue job when things got tricky at Winchester (I think there have been similar moves for bishops in the past). And now is back, not to Winchester (which would have been difficult presentationally) but to a neighbouring diocese to be a helpful supportive neighbour when that appointment is made? In any event, just two years as a Dean is really very short. As I say, just… Read more »

Hilary Dawes
Hilary Dawes
Reply to  peter kettle
13 days ago

I think it probably is largely speculation, Peter. But those of us who have only good memories of Bishop Jonathan’s ministry in Winchester Diocese are mightily relieved he will be moving next door. Although any talk of merges and engineering the appointment to enable his intervention as Winchester awakes from its nightmare is probably overstated, I don’t think it unreasonable to suppose that God has a way of doing these things (despite the machinations in the Wash House) to enable us to have friends close at hand when we most need them.

Dominic Barrington
Dominic Barrington
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
13 days ago

Just to note that the Wash House has not been the Wash House for quite some while, and its staff now work out of Church House!

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
13 days ago

I do wish people would stop confusing an issue with facts, Most distressing.

Hilary Dawes
Hilary Dawes
Reply to  Dominic Barrington
13 days ago

Thank you, Dominic. That had passed me by. I don’t imagine the change of location led to any discernible change of personnel – or policy?

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Hilary Dawes
13 days ago

Now that the Winchester connection has been brought into the discussion, I feel I’m not going totally off-topic to share a snippet I heard earlier this week from a friend of mine who is in (what our trans-Atlantic friends would call) ‘high end real estate.’ If there’s any shred of truth in this, it’s a brilliant ruse by the Commissioners to reclaim their loan from Winchester without too much hard bargaining. My friend was talking to a colleague in the South of England who mentioned, in passing, that there are negotiations taking place for the sale of an historic bishop’s… Read more »

Simon
Simon
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
13 days ago

I have absolutely no inside knowledge and again, am very happy to be corrected, but with reference to Bill’s comment above it is perhaps not entirely coincidental that a certain well endowed educational establishment there, is also planning to admit girls both day and boarding soon. Just sayin’ as they say…. I am in Portsmouth Diocese and the few conversations I have had suggest a good choice has been made. Episcopal experience, knows the area, but has had some, brief, time away. Clarity and clear sense of direction, and pastoral sensitivity/care all needed here!

Will Richards
Will Richards
Reply to  Simon
12 days ago

That sounds like two convincing pieces of a slightly larger jigsaw – and knowing the educational establishment to which Simon alludes, I cannot see how they could possibly accomodate a separate girls’ boarding house within the present estate. Obviously they have been looking for other ‘suitable’ accomodation. Wolvesey ticks all the boxes to my mind.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Will Richards
12 days ago

For those who don’t know it, Wolvesey has been the site of the Bishop of Winchester’s residence since pre-Conquest times. When the Winchester Diocese was larger, including what are now Guildford and parts of Southwark dioceses, bishops mainly lived in a more central location at Farnham Castle, Surrey. When the Guildford Diocese was created the Castle passed to their bishop, but it was felt to be far too large (and grand?) for the 20th century, and the bishop moved out to a modern but large and comfortable house. Wolvesey Palace came out of mothballs to be the Bishop of Winchester’s… Read more »

Father David
Reply to  Rowland Wateridge
12 days ago

Previous Bishops of Portsmouth used to live in a large thatched residence. I’m not sure if Kenneth Stevenson was the last bishop to live there and then had to be uprooted elsewhere? I was sorry when the Bishop of Durham had to vacate Auckland Castle. I always used to enjoy going there each year for the annual ordinands tea party during Ian Ramsey and John Habgood’s time. When the Michael Ramseys moved into the castle the Butler sought custody of their silver and they had to admit that they didn’t have any. However they must have acquired some as the… Read more »

peter kettle
peter kettle
Reply to  Father David
12 days ago

There was no domestic silver recovered from the river. See https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2009/oct/22/durham-cathedral-divers-sunken-treasure

However, the Ramseys did hold an auction sale of their household effects on his retirement from Canterbury. I have the catalogue and will consult it in a few days time when I return home in order to settle this vexed question. Watch this space!

Father David
Reply to  peter kettle
12 days ago

Thank goodness the ring given to Michael Ramsey by Paul VI didn’t find it’s way over Prebends Bridge into the waters below but is safe in Lambeth Palace.

Clifford Jones
Clifford Jones
Reply to  peter kettle
9 days ago

I understand that Michael Ramsey also sold off the numerous bits and pieces he had collected on his international trips, including the bathing cap he had received from the Bondi Surf Life Saving Club. There wasn’t room for them in his post-retirement home. The proceeds from the sale went to Christian Aid.

Simon
Simon
Reply to  Father David
12 days ago

Yes Father David, that’s correct re the thatched residence. The original 10 bedroom Bishopsgrove was sold in 1997. Bishop Kenneth was indeed the last bishop to reside there but had to move out not long after being installed. If it had been a parochial appointment one imagines he would have been made bishop in charge as parish clergy are, when the parsonage’s future is already under review. But then again, I guess bishops don’t have the equivalent of freehold so the CC can flog off the building mid episcopate as it were. More details about the house below. The new… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Will Richards
12 days ago

It is, however, perhaps not the only see house that the Commissioners are minded to sell and which an independent school would like to purchase.

Fenlander
Fenlander
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
11 days ago

Is this the proposed sale to which your friend is alluding? https://search.savills.com/property-detail/gb0401s71918
If the sale is completed, the DBF benefits rather than the Commissioners.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Fenlander
10 days ago

I don’t think so, Fenlander, as I assume Lincoln doesn’t qulaify as being in the South and Edward King House is not currently the bishop’s palace as far as I know. But interesting to see which dioceses are flogging off which bits of the family silver.

Father David
Reply to  Fenlander
9 days ago

I don’t believe it! Times must be hard in the diocese of Lincoln if they are contemplating selling off Edward King House for in excess of £2,500,000! I remember many a Potty training session there in the late 1970s when Canon John Nurser was Chancellor. Perhaps the most memorable occasion was when the late great Professor Geoffrey Lampe addressed us. Bishop King moved there from Riseholm to save the poor clergy having to spend half a crown on a cab out into the country. He must be spinning in his grave at the thought of his former home having to… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Father David
9 days ago

I stayed there not so many years ago when it was a quite luxurious, but short-lived, hotel calling itself “The Old Bishop’s Palace”. £2.5 million, even as a starting point, would seem a bargain for what is there and the location. I forwarded the sales particulars to a friend who has never been to Lincoln, particularly drawing his attention to the splendid photograph provided by Savills of the full length southern aspect of the Cathedral, but making the point that this was not included in the sale. Even in these days of widespread secular ignorance of churches or church matters,… Read more »

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Father David
9 days ago

Why not sell the cathedral? It must be a huge drain on ‘resources’. I’m not sure it would make a lot of money though, bearing in mind the ongoing maintenance needs against a background of uncertain government grant support for a former cathedral. Maybe a candidate for McDonaldisation? Built resource the second largest budget line after human resource; or maybe third after reputation management?

Father David
Reply to  God 'elp us all
9 days ago

“You cannot be serious”. If it wasn’t for the cathedral how many tourists would descend upon Lincoln to swell the local economy? A sad day if ever it ceased to be a place of Christian worship, the place where I was ordained a priest in June 1978, the place Canon Rex Davies once described as “an Easter Palace”. When the current bishop was appointed he mentioned that his children were pleased that he was going to be Bishop of a diocese which had “a proper cathedral”. Make of that, what you will.

rodolph de Salis
rodolph de Salis
13 days ago

‘… seeking climate justice’? Is that dealing with Portsmouth being sunnier and warmer than Yorkshire?

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
12 days ago

Which is the next diocese to be filled? So many coming up.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Perry Butler
12 days ago

Peter Owen (of this parish) maintains a list at http://peterowen.org.uk/articles/vacantsees.html

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
12 days ago

I am led to believe that the current vacancies will be dealt with in the following order:Salisbury, Bath & Wells, Lincoln, Liverpool and then Newcastle. However, Winchester will not be considered until the new CNC has been elected, so not until Autumn 2022.

Philip Johanson
Philip Johanson
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
12 days ago

Rochester after Salisbury

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Philip Johanson
12 days ago

Quite right, sorry.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
12 days ago

7 vacancies and only one likely to be filled in 2021. Are the dioceses commission looking to merge some of these dioceses? If not it is disappointing the process cannot be accelerated.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
11 days ago

Thanks!

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Perry Butler
12 days ago

With compulsory retirement at 70 y.o. it must be possible to project beyond the current vacancies to assist the Dioceses Commission in their reshaping of England’s dioceses.
I note that Dame Caroline Spelman’s term of office as its chair ends quite soon- expiring on 30 April 2022.

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