New Greater Manchester bishops revealed

Date published: 10 March 2008

Following an announcement by Downing Street, the new bishops of Bolton and Middleton were welcomed in Manchester Cathedral by representatives from the Diocese of Manchester.

The Revd Chris Edmondson, 57, is to be the next Bishop of Bolton.

The Revd Mark Davies, 45, is to be the next Bishop of Middleton.

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said: "I am delighted that Her Majesty has approved the names of the new Bishops of Bolton and Middleton. I look forward to them joining our staff as we seek to serve the churches and communities of Greater Manchester and Rossendale. They will share responsibility with me for the 350 parishes across Greater Manchester and our 700 clergy. They will also share the spiritual care for the 196 Church of England Schools and the 55,000 pupils who attend them."

Bishop of Middleton Designate

Archdeacon Mark Davies, is aged 45, and as such, will be the Church of England’s youngest bishop. Revd Davies is married to Joanne who works for the Crown Prosecution Service, they have a son aged 11 called Tim. 

Revd Davies is currently the Archdeacon of Rochdale in the Diocese of Manchester.

The Bishop of Manchester said; “During his time in the Diocese we have got to know Mark. His pastoral care for the clergy, his willingness to go the extra mile with the parishes and his sense of fun while living out his ministry has made a great impact on us all. There were many, many people suggesting he was being called to be a Bishop. This was tested and I am delighted that it was proven true. I wish you well in your new role.”

Revd Davies Davies said: "I feel deeply humbled and, at the same time, very excited at having been nominated as the next Bishop of Middleton. I want to thank the Bishop of Manchester for the opportunity to serve as one of the bishops of this diocese. I look forward to working with him in this ministry. 

"I am very much looking forward to serving the clergy and congregations as a bishop; to be with them in prayer, to be with them in worship, to be with them in reaching out to the communities that make up this diocese. I am also committed to working with our ecumenical partners and with those of the other great world faiths.  

"I firmly believe that the Church of England has so much to contribute to building strong communities across Greater Manchester and Rossendale. I look forward to playing my part in this by working with the large numbers of people who, with great energy and vision, are transforming the lives of many. 

Finally, I want to say how good it is to know that as we prepare for the Consecration in April, Chris and I, together with our families, will be held in the prayers of people across the diocese."

Revd Mark Davies Biography

Revd Davies trained for ordination at the College of the  Resurrection, Mirfield; served a curacy at St Mary’s Barnsley before becoming Priest-in-charge of St Paul’s Barnsley – a major mining area that suffered deprivation and closures during his time in Barnsley. His next post was as rector of Hemsworth – becoming also the Rural Dean of Pontefract and, in 2002, an honorary canon of Wakefield Cathedral. He has also served as Diocesan Vocations Advisor and assistant Director of ordinands. He was a member of the General Synod from 2000-2006, and became Archdeacon of Rochdale in 2006.

Bishop of Bolton Designate

The Revd Chris Edmondson, 57, is married to Susan. Susan has previously worked for Bradford University encouraging widening participation and is currently a conference manager. Revd Edmondson and Susan have two adult sons, Martin and Tim.

Revd Edmondson is currently the Warden of Lee Abbey. Lee Abbey is  a highly respected community, situated on the North Devon coast. Lee Abbey has resourced the church for over 50 years, by encouraging people to live in community and discover God creatively in worship and life.  The Abbey welcomes over 10,000  people a year, giving them a chance to experience community, to attend courses and conferences, and find peace on retreat. 

Revd Edmondson is a published author in the fields of community, mission and developing leadership.

The Bishop of Manchester said: “Chris’s experience of encouraging churches to grow, developing leaders, and encouraging communities to work together, will be a great asset to the Diocese.”

Revd Edmondson said: "I am very much looking forward to coming back to the north of England, where I served in different parish and diocesan posts, before becoming Warden of the Lee Abbey Community and Conference Centre in Devon.

"I feel both excited and greatly honoured to have been nominated as the next Bishop of Bolton.

"It will be a privilege to immerse myself in the life of this exciting diocese, with its vision for growth, serving the communities of Greater Manchester, and to bring a passion I have always had, to see people’s gifts and talents released in God’s service.

"As someone who has been a parish priest for most of my ministry, I particularly look forward to getting to know, and being in partnership with, the clergy and congregations of the Diocese, as we take opportunities, and face some of the challenges of how to express faithful Christian discipleship in the 21st century.  It will also be important for me to build on the work that is already in place with our ecumenical partners, and members of the other faith communities represented in this area.

"I would like to thank the Bishop of Manchester for placing his trust in me, by inviting me to serve as one of the Bishops in this Diocese.  At this exciting time of change for us all, I greatly look forward to working with him, the new Bishop of Middleton and other colleagues.

"Finally, I would ask you to pray for myself and Mark as we take on these new responsibilities, as well as for Susan and me, as we prepare for the next part of the adventure of faith that we will share with you all."

Revd Chris Edmondson Biography

Revd Edmondson trained at St John’s College and Cranmer Hall Durham, after which he was a curate of Kirkheaton, Huddersfield. Then for seven years he was Vicar of St.George’s Ovenden, a UPA parish in Halifax.  From there he moved to Cumbria, where he was Priest in Charge of Bampton with Mardale in the diocese of Carlisle. He has spent over ten years in the role of Bishop’s Advisor on Evangelism, first in Wakefield, and  later as Officer for Evangelism in Carlisle diocese. He became Vicar of St Peter’s Shipley in the diocese of Bradford in 1992. In 2002 became Warden of Lee Abbey.


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