Downing Street has announced Rev Dr Rob Monro as the next bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Bishop Rob will continue the work established by the Bishop of Maidstone, Rod Thomas, providing pastoral care to churches whose understanding of the Bible is that men and women should have “complementary” rather than identical ministries.
The role was transferred to the See of Ebbsfleet earlier this year, following a series of changes to the title of Sees providing extended episcopal oversight in the Church of England.
Usually, the See of Ebbsfleet would minister to traditional catholic parishes, but that responsibility has now been transferred to the See of Oswestry, where Rt Rev Paul Thomas will be providing oversight to the several parishes with an Anglo-Catholic tradition.
Bishop Rob’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for evangelicals in the Church of England as it leaders continue to discern the Church’s direction of travel over issues of gender and sexuality.
Bishop Rob told Premier he is preparing “prayerfully and faithfully” as the Living in Love and Faith process continues.
“There is a process underway that the Church has entered into with integrity. I'm not actually part of the conversations happening in the College of bishops. I will serve the Church as it seeks to find those answers.
“But in the end, the Church of England is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and the Catholic Creed's, and it would cease to be a Church if it moved beyond those foundations,” he continued.
The former Maths and PE teacher and parish priest went on to say he believes there’s a place for those who hold a traditional understanding of marriage in the Church of England.
“Our God is bigger than the human challenges, and one of the Church of England settlements is to recognise that over the years, even in the scriptures, different eras have strayed away from the way that they ought to be. And God has always graciously made provision.
“So not to lose heart and to look to him is my hope.”
The appointment’s announcement came as Rev Dr Munro visited All Soul’s, Langham Place, in London, where had his first job as a part-time teaching assistant at the attached All Souls Church of England Primary school while studying Applied Theology there.
When asked for prayer requests as he starts his new role, Bishop Rob said: “The greatest need is for wisdom and grace. Wisdom to know how to navigate the different challenges that are there, but also grace… we bring truth in love and having a genuine love for the people that I'm called to serve and the whole wider Church.
“So, remembering who everybody is, land sharing in the different things that they're doing, but encouraging them to stay close to Jesus Christ.”
You can listen to the full interview with Bishop Rob here: