News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Bishop of Rochester James Langstaff credit Diocese of Rochester.png header2.png
The Diocese of Rochester
The Diocese of Rochester
Church News

Bishop of Rochester announces retirement

by Cara Bentley

The Rt Rev James Langstaff has announced that he will be retiring in July next year. 

Bishop James and his wife Bridget plan to return to Birmingham where he had been a priest before becoming a bishop. 

As a Trustee for the Christian charity Housing Justice, he has spoken about the need for secure housing for children and, as Bishop to Prisons, has supported Christians who work in prisons and rehabilitation projects. 

He also joined the House of Lords in 2014, sitting with the other Lords Spiritual, and contributed to debates on homelessness and criminal justice in particular. 

In a video, he explained that he had always planned to be in Rochester for ten years. 


He said: "One of the highlights for me has been to see all those individuals who have responded to God's calling, whether through confirmation, or conversion, or in ordination or lay ministry in its many forms. To see people on a journey of discipleship is the most important thing of all and I've been really grateful to be part of that."

Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones, the Bishop of Tonbridge will take responsibility for the Diocese in the meantime. 

Bishop Simon said: "It's hard to imagine the weight of responsibility in being a diocesan bishop. Bishop James has shown great grace and dignity in the decade leading Rochester, held a clear sense of the Gospel in front of him and used an excellent strategic brain to plot courses, being open to ideas and suggestions from lots of sources."

He added: "Having worked closely with Bishop James throughout his tenure, I have found him to be unfailingly kind, even-tempered, able to see the funny side and, with Bridget, greatly hospitable to the many users of Bishopscourt."

Plans are being made for a farewell event around 3rd and 4th July 2021, depending on the Covid-19 situation, as well as informal occasions throughout the year where people can say goodbye.

Information about the timetable for appointing Bishop James' successor will be announced by the Diocese of Rochester in due course.

Listen to this interview from March, where Bishops James spoke about the potential closure of churches and parliament due to coronavirus, prior to lockdown. 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email