Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Willesden to retire

News from the Diocese of London

Bishop of Willesden to retire

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, has announced his intention to resign as from 30th September 2021. Bishop Pete has volunteered to stand down a year before his normal retirement date.

The Bishop of London is exploring with him another role, which would see him facilitating some of the transition and implementation work for the Diocese of London’s 2030 Vision. This will enable the potential appointment of a new Bishop of Willesden and provide an opportunity for the Diocese’s senior team in London to become more diverse.

Bishop Pete has been Bishop of Willesden since 2001. Before that, he served as Archdeacon of Northolt, as a Vicar in Harrow and as a Polytechnic Chaplain in Islington.

The Bishop of Willesden, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, said:

“It’s been a joy and a privilege to serve the churches and people of North West London this past twenty years. I look forward to the next stage, helping the Diocese of London with our 2030 Vision – making it possible for every Londoner to encounter the love of God in Christ.”

The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said:

“Pete has shown extraordinary, untiring commitment to the Church in London for over 40 years. Half of those have been as Bishop, where he returned to serve the part of the capital he grew up in. Pete will leave the see of Willesden with a legacy that will live on. I’ve been particularly grateful personally for his support since I came to London, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we deliver our Diocesan 2030 Vision.”

A consultation has begun to help guide the appointment to the See of Willesden, ending on 12th April. Click here to view the consultation paper.

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Graeme Buttery
Graeme Buttery
3 months ago

Happy retirement Pete. While from different church perspectives, I have appreciated your commitment to God in the Church. It has also been a privilege to serve with you on General Synod Business Committee.

Graeme Buttery

Anne Foreman
Anne Foreman
3 months ago

I agree with Graeme!

Brian Wilcox
Brian Wilcox
3 months ago

At a time when clergy numbers are bound to be under review and cuts will no doubt have to be made, does nobody see the incongruity of just appointing another Bishop of Willesden without any regard for the wider consequences? The number of Bishops,Archdeacons and Advisors in every diocese have expanded like topsy out of all proportion to the financial infrastructure of the Church at large. I can’t help wondering what Roy Arnold and the Diocese of Gribchester would make of this. If I remember rightly the Bishop of Gribchester had so many advisers that he had to appoint an… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Brian Wilcox
3 months ago

The Dioceses, Pastoral and Mission Measure 2007 requires there to be a consultation as to whether suffragan sees should be filled when they become vacant. Strangely, whenever such a see does become vacant, it generally seems to be found necessary to fill it. Indeed, the consultation on this particular see, (see link above) is worded in such a way that the response that it should be filled appears to be assumed. We look forward to the day when parishes entering a vacancy can enjoy the same confidence that a new appointment will be made.

Brian Wilcox
Brian Wilcox
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
3 months ago

I made the point having read the Consultation link and being aware of the 2007 Measure. However This is not just a Diocese of London issue but one which seems to be a presumption in all dioceses. Parishes in vacancy it seems come far down the pecking order in resourcing and staffing

Dan Barnes-Davies
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
3 months ago

Not in the recent case of Ludlow.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Dan Barnes-Davies
3 months ago

The exception that proves the rule. But even in that case, replacing a suffragan bishop with an archdeacon hardly counts as reducing the number of central posts. Why is it that the C of E can always cut parish posts, but just redesignates central posts?

Sam Jones
Sam Jones
3 months ago

He’s done an excellent job as a bishop, and it is disappointing he didn’t move onto a diocesan role. I particularly appreciated his openness in posting on this website among others.

It will be interesting to see who his successor is, but the line ‘an opportunity for the Diocese’s senior team in London to become more diverse’ looks like a hostage to fortune.

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Sam Jones
3 months ago

Sam, I think he may have scuppered any chance of a diocese of his own when he was rude about our Supreme Governor! If my memory serves me right he was rebuked by Richard Chartres for his rudeness to Her Majesty The Queen.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
3 months ago

It was a remark on the announcement of the Engagement of Prince William and Ms Middleton which occasioned some excitement in the public print. I think + Peter is the only openly republican Bishop in the Church of England.

Dan Barnes-Davies
Reply to  Simon Bravery
3 months ago

Yes, that was hardly going to go down well when your boss is Charles Windsor’s bezzie; but the Church really is needlessly aggressive in repressing its republican members at the best of times. Solidarity, Comrade Bishop.

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
3 months ago

That, I think was in 2010, but, notwithstanding, he was the Acting Bishop of London 2017-18 during the interregnum following Richard Chartres’ retirement.

Malcolm Gray
Malcolm Gray
3 months ago

Correct me if Iam wrong but the RC Dioceses have one Bishop apart from the Arch Diocese, they dont have archdeacons and for a long time had bigger congregations than CofE

peter kettle
peter kettle
3 months ago

I write as a Licensed SSM priest in the Diocese of London until retirement late in 2019, and with thanks for the opportunity I was given to minister in the Two Cities area over the years. Both on this website, and in his (15 month) ministry as acting Bishop of London following Bishop Richard’s retirement, Bishop Pete has been a refreshingly open and honest bishop, which seems to be a rare thing in the episcopate these days. From that point of view, the Diocese will lose an element of ‘diversity’ it seeks to build up in replacing him – unless,… Read more »

Stephen King
Stephen King
Reply to  peter kettle
3 months ago

Out of curiosity, besides “diversity” referring to gender, ethnicity, sexuality etc, does it also include theological diversity in terms of appointing male bishops who do not ordain women as priests (whether for anglo-catholic, or conservative evangelical, reasons)? Last year’s appointment of +Lewes was the first episcopal appointment of a traditionalist anglo-catholic for five years: it is easy to imagine the reaction had no female bishops been appointed in the same timescale. (I hasten to add I agree with the ordination of women).

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Stephen King
3 months ago

I would think having +Fulham and +Maidstone within the London scheme would tick the theological diversity box. The area system could be an obstacle. But if the right man came along I’m sure everyone would pull together to make it work.

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
3 months ago

We won’t see the like of +Pete again, I fear. In the safe, reputationally micromanaged Church of England, we will not receive new bishops who are prepared to speak their mind and challenge the establishment status quo. If it were me, I would regard being rebuked by Prince Charles’s close friend, Richard Chartres, after criticisms of the monarchy, as a Badge of Honour, frankly. The Royal Household thing reeks of a stage-managed ‘front’ of perfection – just like the Church of England itself – while all kinds of nasties are being cultivated behind the scenes. At least we can be… Read more »

Fr. Dean Henley
Fr. Dean Henley
Reply to  Bill Broadhead
3 months ago

I have been privileged to attend two Royal Maundy services; in 2006 in Guildford and in 2019 in Windsor. On both occasions I saw no ‘front of perfection’ in our Sovereign. I watched her closely: no time to talk of course but the Queen looked every one of the old dears in the eye as she handed them their coins and gave each of them her best twinkly smile, in 2019 all 186 of them. On the other hand I’ve known several bishops unable to make eye contact and whose non-verbal communication invariably communicated their boredom. Her Majesty was anointed… Read more »

Bill Broadhead
Bill Broadhead
Reply to  Fr. Dean Henley
3 months ago

It’s good to know you had a positive glimpse of the Royal machinery acting the part, Dean. But anyone with an ounce of emotional intelligence will know that what goes on behind the scenes of this dysfunctional and (at times) toxic institution, with its deeply embedded racism and sense of entitlement (cf Prince Andrew and the rest of it) can only admire +Pete’s refusal to tug the forelock. The next thing you’ll be telling us is that a prime minister who acts the clown is nothing more than a benign and cuddly human being.

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