Your views on our future bishops


The Diocese of Chester has been given permission to appoint to the Sees of Birkenhead and Stockport. 

Now Bishop Mark is encouraging people to complete a short survey which is seeking views and comments from individuals in the diocese about the two bishop posts.

Bishop Mark says: "We have been given permission to appoint bishops in the Sees of Stockport and Birkenhead. At the start of the appointment process, I want to ask you what you would like to see in our Suffragan Bishops, but I also want to ask more about where you believe God is calling us as a Diocese. Bishops should have a role in helping to lead us into the vision that God is giving us, so the two questions are linked.

"Often we think that the more we write, the more difference it makes… it is actually the other way around. So please, be brief, be quick, be clear!

"We would like pithy responses to as many of the questions below as you would like to and return your answers by 22 January 2021, please."

To complete the survey, follow this link. 

The See of Stockport has remained vacant since Bishop Libby Lane became the Bishop of Derby in 2019, and BIshop Keith has announced that he plans to retire on 8 March, 14 years to the day after he was consecrated. 

Announcing the news in October, Bishop Keith said that he was thankful to God for calling Bishop Mark to the role of Bishop of Chester and that he is hoping that his retirement in March will help the process of the appointment of two new suffragan bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead. 

Unlike a diocesan bishop, suffragan bishops are not crown appointments but are appointed by the diocese. The process will be led by Bishop Mark who will be assisted by an advisory group made up of the following people: 

John Mason

Chair of the House of Laity

Revd Mike Smith

Incumbent of St John the Baptist, Hartford

Revd Anna Leyden

Curate at Christ Church Chester

Revd Tim Stratford

Dean of Chester Cathedral

David Hermitt

Chief Executive Officer of Congleton Multi-Academy Trust

Julie Withers

Retired Reader at St Peter’s Hale and Lay Chair of Bowdon Deanery

Rt Revd Sophie Jelley

Bishop of Doncaster



A prayer for the discernment process

Almighty God,
who sent Jesus Christ
to be the cornerstone of your Kingdom
and calls us to follow him.
Guide your Church, by the Holy Spirit,
to show humility, love and mercy as we seek your Kingdom.
We pray for those you are calling 
to be the next bishops of Stockport and Birkenhead
and for those discerning that call.
Lead and strengthen them to answer your call; 
in the name of Jesus Christ.

With thanks to Andy Stinson

Page last updated: 13th January 2021 3:58 PM