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/ 23 July 2018

Bishop of Stepney to step down

Bishop Adrian and Bishop Sarah

Bishop Adrian pays tribute to his diverse and vibrant community


The Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, has decided to step back from full time ministry on health grounds. He will withdraw from public duties at the end of October, and the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, Bishop of Willesden, will serve as Acting Bishop of Stepney until a successor is appointed.

Bishop Adrian has struggled for some time to manage frequent debilitating migraine attacks and, while he has tried various forms of treatment, he has reluctantly decided that a period of complete rest is now the best course of action for him.

Bishop Adrian said:

“Migraines have been my thorn in the flesh for many years, but I have reached the point where they are adversely affecting my ability to carry out the demanding role of a bishop in this part of London.  I hope that a period away from the front line will help me to recover and explore what God may be calling me to in the future.

“It has been a huge privilege to be Bishop of Stepney, serving one of the most diverse and vibrant communities in the whole of the country.  I have been blessed to work alongside a terrific group of clergy, and to be part of a diocese filled with creativity and godly ambition.  I will miss the role enormously, and carry such a host of rich memories from my time here.”

Bishop Sarah said:

“Bishop Adrian will be remembered in Stepney above all as a campaigner for social justice, so often providing a voice for the marginalised in the East End and beyond. When terror struck London – not for the first or last time in 2017 – it was +Adrian who took his place alongside our political and faith leaders at Finsbury Park Mosque, addressing the crowd at the vigil afterwards with the cry, ‘an attack on one faith is an attack on us all.’

“We speak about taking seriously the wellbeing of ordained ministers and, whilst I will miss working with Bishop Adrian in the future, I fully support his decision to put his health first. I am sure everyone in Stepney and in London will join with me in thanking Bishop Adrian and praying for him, and for Gill and his family, as he makes this life-change.”

Bishop Adrian was consecrated Bishop of Stepney in St Paul’s Cathedral on 22 July 2011 by then Bishop of London, Lord Chartres.

Urban churches have been at the heart of Adrian’s work in the Church, beginning his career as a curate at St Mark’s, Forest Gate, in the London Borough of Newham, and going on to work in Sheffield and in the Bullring, in Birmingham’s city centre. Bishop Adrian took a sabbatical from his role as Dean of Rochester in 2010 to research the role of the Church in addressing urban poverty. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent and was made an Honorary Fellow at Canterbury Christ Church for his work bridging church and civil society.

As Bishop of Stepney, he led the Diocese’s response to poverty in the Capital, to the 2012 Olympics and its legacy, and on the issue of urban regeneration. He is a trustee for Trust for London, a board member of Citizens UK, a trustee of the Just Finance Foundation, and a member of Westcott House Council.  He has been a Church Commissioner and a Commissioner for the Tower Hamlets Fairness Commission.

In 2017 and 2018 he chaired the Church of England’s Cathedrals Working Group, which has recommended a number of changes to legislation to improve Cathedral governance.

Bishop Adrian intends, with his wife Gill, to move to Essex and to focus on his health for a period, before deciding on his next steps after episcopacy.

Bishop Adrian’s Ad Clerum can be read here and Bishop Sarah’s message to the Diocese can be viewed here.

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