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Church News

The new Bishop of Rochester has been announced

by Alex Collett

Downing Street has announced that Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs will become the next Bishop of Rochester.

Rt Rev Gibbs is currently the Bishop of Huddersfield in the Diocese of Leeds.

He is also the Church of England's lead bishop for safeguarding and will succeed Rt Rev James Langstaff, who has now retired.

The Diocese of Rochester covers 215 parishes across Medway, north and west Kent and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley.

In statement, Bishop Jonathan said: "I am delighted to have been announced as the new Bishop of Rochester. 

"My wife Toni and I are so excited about the prospect of moving to this wonderful Diocese.

"For us, Rochester will be a new place to discover and we're so looking forward to getting to the know the people of our churches and our communities, and to working together with them as we encourage God's kingdom to grow in this wonderfully varied and rich place."

"We are very conscious of the diversity of the communities that we serve, from urban and suburban to profoundly rural, and I am looking forward to the opportunity of exploring all these different places and to sharing in the journey with the people here of growing God's Church, of serving the communities, and of proclaiming the good news of Christ to the people whom we seek to love and to serve in Jesus' name."

Bishop Jonathan grew up in Cheshire and then studied at Jesus College, Oxford for his MA in Philosophy and Politics and Jesus College, Cambridge for a PhD on the Theology of Work.

He then trained for ordained ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, before serving his curacy in the Diocese of Chester at Stalybridge, Holy Trinity and Christ Church from 1989 -92. 

He was then a chaplain at Basle with Freiburg-im-Breisgau, in the Diocese of Europe from 1992- 98 and was Rector of Heswall in the Diocese of Chester from 1998 until 2014.

Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds said: "Although sorry to lose such a good colleague and friend from Leeds, I am delighted to see Jonathan bringing his great gifts and experience to Rochester.

"He has a sharp mind, a pastoral heart, and a huge capacity for service. He leaves with my gratitude and prayers."

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