A new Bishop of Kensington
Number 10 announced this morning that the Queen has approved the appointment of the Reverend Dr Graham Tomlin as Bishop of Kensington.
I am very grateful to the Advisory Group for their help in identifying the challenges facing the next Bishop of Kensington. Bishop Paul Williams, who was enthroned as Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham last Saturday, made a notable impact on the Area and there was a clear call for continuity and building on the work he had done.
Looking more widely at the needs of the Diocese and the national College of Bishops the group also recognised the importance of strengthening the theological resources available to the episcopate. In his many publications and in his teaching in St Mellitus College, Graham has demonstrated a generous orthodoxy which combines depth with clarity. He has led the way in creating an institution which has confounded the cynics and generated fresh energy for the Church’s mission. He has presided over the opening of a central College campus in London, a teaching centre in Chelmsford and the development of another campus on Merseyside.
Since his three year curacy at St Leonard’s Exeter, Graham has continually combined his teaching with pastoral care for those preparing for parochial and other ministries. I know that he is much valued as a pastor whilst his involvement in his local parishes in Oxford and London, his leadership of parish missions and his participation in appointments processes have given him an unusually wide experience of parishes in many different parts of the country. His whole ministry in a sense has been in support of the “local church” for which he has a passion. As Area Bishop he will be able to develop this theme in his ministry as he serves the remarkably diverse Christian communities in West London.
As Principal of St Mellitus, Graham has been pivotal in establishing the ethos of the College as it continues to grow and inspire imitation in other parts of the country and internationally. As Bishop of Kensington, Graham will cease to be Principal of St Mellitus at the end of this academic year, but will continue to be involved in a more presidential and less operational role.
The Bishop of Kensington begins this new chapter for the Area with strong leadership from a deeply respected Archdeacon and a talented cohort of Area Deans. Please keep Graham and Janet Tomlin in your prayers as they prepare to join the London team and begin their new life in Dial House. Graham’s consecration will be in Canterbury on September 23rd.