Archbishop of Canterbury to preach at consecration of new bishops

New bishopsThe Archbishop of Canterbury is to preach in York Minster at the consecration service next Friday October 17th for the two new area bishops appointed to the  diocese.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby will be losing his Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs, the Revd Dr Toby Howarth (pictured left) who has been at Lambeth since 2011. He will become the Bishop of Bradford at the Consecration service (being held in York Minster at 11am). Dr Howarth is also National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser for the Church of England.

The Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs (pictured right), Rector of Heswall in the Diocese of Chester for seventeen years, will also be consecrated as a bishop at the service. He will become the first ever Bishop of Huddersfield. This is a new bishopric covering the local authority areas of Calderdale and Kirklees and is one of five areas in the new diocese, which each have their own bishop.

The York Minster service will be conducted by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu. Hundreds of friends, colleagues and supporters will be at the service including many from the Diocese of Chester, from Lambeth Palace and Springfield in Birmingham where Toby Howarth was Priest in Charge from 2004 to 2011, together with clergy and civic representatives from throughout the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

Speaking about his appointment as Bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth said, “It is a great joy to have been appointed as the new Area Bishop of Bradford. The role has no shortage of opportunities and challenges. I am very much looking forward to working with clergy, congregations and ecumenical partners in the diversity of the city itself, the surrounding towns and rural areas. I am also looking forward to engaging with the communities of which our churches are a part, and building relationships with those involved in the range of civic, statutory  and community organisations which make up this vibrant metropolitan district.”

Jonathan Gibbs also commented on his appointment as Bishop Of Huddersfield. He said, “I am delighted to be coming to Yorkshire and to be joining the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales at this exciting time.  Toni (Jonathan’s wife) and I are thrilled to be moving to such a great part of the world, with a wealth of culture in its towns and cities as well as beautiful villages and countryside.  I am looking forward to working with the other members of the Diocesan team to build up the life of our churches both numerically and spiritually and to contributing to the life of the rich and diverse community in West Yorkshire. “

Both new bishops will also be officially welcomed at services in their new Episcopal Areas next month. Revd Dr Toby Howarth will be welcomed to Bradford with a service on Saturday November 8th at Bradford Cathedral, while the Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs will be welcomed at a service on Sat 29 November at Dewsbury Minster, also at 11am.

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