It has been announced that the Reverend Lynne Cullens will be the next Bishop of Barking, succeeding the Right Reverend Peter Hill, who retired earlier this year.
Lynne is currently Rector of Stockport and Brinnington in the Diocese of Chester, where she has served since July 2019. She is also a trustee and the Chair of the National Estate Churches Network.
Speaking about her appointment in a message to churches in the Barking Area, Lynne said:
It has been the most delightful and humbling surprise to have been called to this role and to Chelmsford Diocese. I am very much looking forward to joining you and to meeting with, and learning from, people, communities and partners across the Barking area.
It will be a privilege to serve God alongside you and to support Bishop Guli as she leads our continuing discernment of his will for our diocese and his Church”.
Welcoming Lynne’s appointment, The Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, the Bishop of Chelmsford said:
I am delighted that the Reverend Lynne Cullens will be joining us in Chelmsford Diocese as the next Bishop of Barking. Lynne will bring a wealth of experience from parish ministry, from her previous career as a charity chief executive and from the work she has done for the Church nationally, particularly in the area of housing and estates evangelism.
Her passion for social justice and serving local communities has been a hallmark of her ministry and will serve her well as she ministers alongside our outstanding team of clergy and lay leaders in the Barking Area. I know others will join me in warmly welcoming Lynne to our diocese. Please join me too in praying for her as she takes this next step in her ministry.”
The Right Reverend Mark Tanner, the Bishop of Chester added:
We are so pleased to hear of Lynne’s appointment to the Diocese of Chelmsford as Bishop of Barking. We will miss her in the Diocese of Chester; particularly her energetic grace and persistent imagination in serving those who have least, but will be holding her and the Parish of Stockport and Brinnington in our prayers.”
The Right Reverend Sam Corley, Bishop of Stockport said:
Lynne has made a huge contribution to the town and borough during her time in Stockport. She has been quick to spot opportunities for mission, adept at creating effective partnerships with a wide range of individuals and organisations, and consistent in creating spaces where the voices of those who are too often marginalised can be heard and responded to effectively. Lynne has this incredible ability to ask difficult questions and name uncomfortable truths with a combination of steel and grace that help to release justice and effect change.
“And I am sure that the communities, schools, chaplaincies, and churches in the Barking Episcopal Area, and across the Diocese of Chelmsford, will benefit hugely from Lynne’s warmth, experience and determination to see the Kingdom of God grow.”
Lynne was introduced to the diocese today with a visit to St John’s Church of England Secondary School in Epping where she met with students and staff and answered questions.
Following the school visit Lynne visited St Margaret’s Church in Barking, where she met some of our church leaders from the Barking Area.
The Reverend Lynne Cullens
The Reverend Lynne Cullens is currently Rector of Stockport & Brinnington in the Diocese of Chester.
Lynne was ordained Deacon July 2012 and served her curacy in the parish of Congleton before becoming a non-stipendiary minister in The Benefice of Sandbach Heath (St John the Evangelist) with Wheelock in September 2015. Lynne then served as Priest-in-Charge in The Benefice of Crewe (St Andrew with St John the Baptist) from May 2016 until she took up her current role.
Lynne is a member of the Church of England’s Selection Oversight Group which develops and oversees selection processes for candidates for ordained ministry in the Church of England and the Estates Evangelism Task Group which focuses on growing Christian communities on social housing estates. Lynne also serves on the Archbishops’ Commission on Housing, Church and Local Community.
A former charity CEO, Lynne was born in Ordsall, Salford.
Consecration and start of ministry
Lynne will be consecrated as Bishop of Barking in the New Year and start her ministry as Bishop of Barking in the Spring.