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Olivia Graham.jpg
Diocese of Oxford
Olivia Graham.jpg
Diocese of Oxford
World News

Bishop of Reading to retire in the autumn

by Kelly Valencia

Rt Rev Bishop Olivia Graham has announced she will be stepping down from her role as Bishop of Reading in September.

"It has been an absolute honour and privilege to walk alongside you as together we strive to live out God's vision for a more Christ-like church in the Diocese of Oxford," Bishop Olivia said.

"As I prepare to step back from this role, I do so with unshakable confidence in the goodness of God, who is always doing a 'new thing', worked out through God's wonderful people in the diocese."

The 67-year-old was the first female suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Oxford, a position she's held since 2019. She championed young people during her tenure, particularly with work around knife crime and its impact on young people's lives. She has also led an annual pilgrimage to Taizé in France with groups of young adults.

Leading the diocese's response to the climate crisis was also a signature of her time as Bishop. In this role, she attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow, and along with two other bishops, she also led the National Church of England's work on the environment.

Rt Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, described her as an "outstanding servant leader" and paid tribute to her work.

"Olivia has inspired love and confidence across the Area and the wider Diocese both inside and beyond the Church," Bishop Steven said.

"As Bishop, she has put supporting parishes and clergy at the very heart of her ministry yet has also offered inspiring leadership on the environment, world mission and as lead bishop for safeguarding. I know Bishop Olivia and Keith will be greatly missed across the diocese and especially in Berkshire when Olivia retires, but I know Olivia will want to be fully engaged in supporting God's mission in her remaining months in post."

Her successor is expected to be named in the coming weeks.


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