The Society applauds appointment of woman bishop in Chichester

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The Society under the patronage of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda is delighted to learn of the appointments of Fr Will Hazlewood SSC to be the next Bishop of Lewes and of the Revd Ruth Bushyager to be the next Bishop of Horsham. This is especially welcome news as it is five and a half years since the last announcement of a traditional Catholic priest to be appointed to a Church of England bishopric; at that time it was the appointment of Fr Philip North to be the Bishop of Burnley.

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops, commented: “I am thrilled for Will and Ruth and wish them every success and happiness in their new roles. It is wonderful to see the Church of England’s Five Guiding Principles being lived out in this way. We have been acutely conscious of the lapse in time since the last appointment of a traditional Catholic priest to the episcopate and so Will’s appointment is both welcome and timely. We do of course hold Will and Ruth in our prayers, along with their families, and indeed the entire Diocese of Chichester under Bishop Martin.”

Announcement from the Diocese of Chichester

10 Downing Street has today announced the names of the new bishops of Horsham and Lewes to serve as suffragan bishops in the Diocese of Chichester.

The Revd Ruth Bushyager, currently Vicar of St Paul’s, Dorking in the Diocese of Guildford will serve as Bishop of Horsham.

The Revd William Hazlewood, currently Vicar of the United Benefice of Dartmouth and Dittisham in the Diocese of Exeter will be the next Bishop of Lewes.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said it was “a very significant day in the life of the Diocese of Chichester. It is the outcome of prayer, across the diocese and beyond, that has sustained us in this complex and demanding appointment process.

“The announcement of who will serve as Bishop of Horsham and Bishop of Lewes now comes as a joyful pledge of hope and confidence in the Church’s mission beyond the painful restrictions that responding to the Coronavirus pandemic demands of us.

“We gladly open our hearts to Ruth and to Will, and to the wonderfully diverse gifts and experience they will bring to our apostolic life, as we welcome them and their families into this household of faith.”

Today’s digital announcement in the Chichester Diocese is the first virtual introduction of new bishops since the current lockdown began. A video launch, hosted by the Bishop of Chichester during which he will welcome his two new colleagues, is being streamed online today at 10:15am.

https://www.facebook.com/DioceseofChichester

Ruth Bushyager was ordained priest in 2006 and after serving in the Southwell & Nottingham and Oxford dioceses became Area Missioner for the Kensington area in the Diocese of London in 2010. She has served as the Vicar of St Paul’s, Dorking since 2014 and now also serves as Area Dean of Dorking.

Ruth is married to Ron, a psychotherapist, and they have two young daughters.

“I am really looking forward to getting to know the churches, chaplaincies and schools of the diocese and seeing how I can help to encourage and serve their mission,” said Ruth today.

Will Hazlewood has been a priest since 2002. He served his curacy in a parish in the centre of Bristol before moving to Buckinghamshire to the parish of Iver Heath on the outskirts of Slough. He moved to the Diocese of Exeter in 2011 to be Incumbent of Dartmouth and Dittisham, a market town and village in the South Hams. He became Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral in 2017.

His wife Sophie grew up in Sussex and is a Project Manager. They have two young children.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started,” said Will today before adding: “My first task is to listen and get to know the clergy and people of the diocese so that I can discern how to support and encourage the local mission of the church in all aspects of its life.”

Both of the new bishops-designate are announcing news of their appointments to their congregations and communities today.

Background notes:-

CLICK HERE to watch the launch media event (from 10.15am) where further quotes and information are available.

See individual media release for further background:

New Bishop of Horsham Suff/02

New Bishop of Lewes Suff/03

The Church of England Diocese of Chichester stretches over East and West Sussex from Rye in the east to Chichester in the west. The Diocese is rural in character but it has significant urban centres with the largest centres of population being Brighton and Hove along with Horsham, Crawley and East Grinstead.

There are 365 parishes in the Diocese consisting of over 500 churches. Parishes are divided into benefices and deaneries. As well as Bishop of Chichester and his two newly appointed suffragans there are four archdeacons who support local rural deans.

There are 157 Church of England schools in the Diocese.

Chichester Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Diocese served by the Dean and Chapter.

Ruth succeeds The Right Revered Mark Sowerby who is now Principal of the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.

Will succeeds The Right Reverend Richard Jackson who is now Bishop of Hereford