The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have appointed Stephen Knott as the new Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments. He will take up the role at the end of January 2022.
Stephen, who is currently Deputy Chief of Staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury, will support and advise the Archbishops on senior appointments in the Church of England.
The Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments has a particular focus on managing the process for appointing bishops, deans and other senior roles. In this they work closely with the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary.
The Secretary for Appointments will also work closely with the Ministry Development Team Director, Bishop Chris Goldsmith around senior appointments and processes, ensuring that recruitment, selection and discernment processes help increase diversity among senior leaders. The responsibility for senior leadership development programmes has moved to the Ministry Development Team from January this year.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell, said: “We are delighted that Stephen will be bringing his experience and wisdom to this role. His commitment to, and knowledge of, the Church of England stands him in sure stead to manage the processes for senior appointments, as the Church seeks to follow God’s call in the coming years. We will be keeping him in our prayers as he takes this exciting next step of service to God and the future of the Church of England.”
Stephen Knott said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have been selected as the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and look forward to working with the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, along with people right across the Church of England and beyond, in overseeing the process for selecting senior appointments. For me, the highlight in taking on this responsibility will be meeting as many people as possible, building relationships and listening, in order to effectively fulfil the important challenges of this role. I’m hugely excited to get started.”
Stephen has been part of the Lambeth Palace staff team since 2013 and held numerous roles, including Assistant and then Deputy Chief of Staff from 2016 to 2021. Prior to this, Stephen spent over a decade working as a researcher in the House of Commons. He was an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve from 2011 to 2018. Stephen grew up in Northern Ireland and studied Geography at Queen’s University Belfast.
Stephen was selected as Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments by an independent panel.
Nb. For further background on Mr. Knott see this article on his recent wedding.