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Meet the Church of England's newest bishop who was raised in a leprosy hospital in India

by Marcus Jones
Saju (Light Background).jpg - Banner image

The Queen has approved the appointment of Rev Malayil Lukose Varghese Muthalaly (known as Saju) as the next Bishop of Loughborough.

The announcement marks a significant moment in the life of the clergyman who grew up in a leprosy hospital in India where his mother worked as a nurse.

After coming to faith as a teenager, he studied at the Southern Asia Bible College in Bangalore before moving to the UK to train for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. 

He was ordained as a priest in 2009 and for the past seven years has been working as vicar of St Mark's and St Mary's Island in the Diocese of Rochester, Kent

Rev Muthalaly replaces Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani who became Bishop of Chelmsford earlier this year. 

The role was created in 2017 in order to reach out to the multi-cultural community in the diocese of Leicester.

Speaking about his appointment, he said: "It is an honour and a joy to be invited to become the next Bishop of Loughborough and I am looking forward to getting to know the people of Leicestershire. 

"My priorities in ministry are profoundly relational. If I have felt anointed in anything, it is in forming friendships, gathering God's people, and creating hospitable and loving spaces in which people can grow in faith, hope, justice and love. 

"I have a deep desire for the flourishing of all people, particularly the poor, those at the margins of our world."

Welcoming him to the diocese, Bishop of Leicester Rt Rev Martyn Snow said: "We are delighted that Saju is coming to join us in the Diocese of Leicester where we cherish the wide diversity of our worshipping communities and are looking to strengthen parishes and help them do more with their local schools. 

"We look forward to the energy and enthusiasm Saju brings, knowing that he will be a Bishop who is first and foremost a disciple committed to listening and learning as he joins us in our vision of seeking the Kingdom of God." 

It's understood the appointment will make Rev Muthalaly the youngest bishop in the Church of England aged 42.

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