The appointment of two new bishops


Download the Information Pack
Bishop Mark's Advisory Group
Next steps in the discernment process
A prayer for the discernment process

The Diocese of Chester has been given permission to appoint two new bishops. 

As part of the discernment process, hundreds of people responded to a diocesan survey seeking views and comments about the two bishop posts.

In response to the successful survey, Bishop Mark said: “Thank you to everyone that took the time to share their views on the future Bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead. I was overwhelmed by the breadth and wisdom of the feedback. These give a good indication of the individual qualities we hope the future bishops will bring to the roles and also a reminder of the deep faith and warm enthusiasm we have in this diocese for all that God has for us and the communities we serve. Please continue to pray.”

Bishop Mark, assisted by a diocesan advisory group and the Bishop's Council, has set out a description of the two bishop roles and an overview of the diocese in an Information Pack which has been made available to potential candidates. 

Download the Information Pack

Bishop Mark is responsible for nominating the new suffragan bishops to the Prime Minister who in turn puts forward the names to the Crown for approval. Bishop Mark is assisted in the discernment process by a diocesan advisory group. 

The Diocese of Chester has been without a Bishop of Stockport since Bishop Libby Lane became the Bishop of Derby in 2019, and Bishop Keith has announced that he will retire as Bishop of Birkenhead on 7 March, 14 years after he was consecrated. Writing in an open letter Bishop Mark invites us all to prepare for his retirement and participate in plans for his and Rosie's farewell. You can read more about that here


Bishop Mark's Advisory Group

John Mason

Chair of the House of Laity

Revd Mike Smith

Incumbent of St John the Baptist, Hartford

Revd Anna Leyden

Curate at Christ Church Chester

Revd Tim Stratford

Dean of Chester Cathedral

David Hermitt

Chief Executive Officer of Congleton Multi-Academy Trust

Julie Withers

Retired Reader at St Peter’s Hale and Lay Chair of Bowdon Deanery

Rt Revd Sophie Jelley

Bishop of Doncaster


Next steps in the discernment process

  • Bishop Mark would be grateful for your prayers for the discernment process
  • Candidate interviews are expected to be held in March
  • An announcement on the appointment of the two new bishops is expected in May

A prayer for the discernment process

Almighty God,
who sent Jesus Christ
to be the cornerstone of your Kingdom
and calls us to follow him.
Guide your Church, by the Holy Spirit,
to show humility, love and mercy as we seek your Kingdom.
We pray for those you are calling 
to be the next bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead
and for those discerning that call.
Lead and strengthen them to answer your call; 
in the name of Jesus Christ.

With thanks to Andy Stinson

Page last updated: 14th February 2021 9:48 PM