Bishop of Ely to be Acting Bishop in Diocese of Lincoln


The Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway is to be Acting Bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln, following the retirement of Bishop Christopher Lowson in December 2021.

The Archbishop of Canterbury today wrote to people across the diocese saying: “you will be aware that we have started the process for the appointment of your next bishop and thank you to those of you who have shared your hopes and prayers for the Gospel and for the witness of the Church of England across Lincolnshire through the various listening exercises.

 “Following a meeting with Bishop Christopher Lowson and a subsequent meeting with the Bishop’s Staff team, I have asked Bishop Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely to be the Acting Bishop of Lincoln from the 1st January 2022.

“Bishop Stephen is a wise and experienced senior bishop who will provide pastoral and spiritual leadership during this crucial time for discerning your future and the leadership that God will provide.

“I hope that Stephen will be able to come alongside you, to support and listen and to work with you to explore what the ministry of the next bishop might be and how this will enhance the calling of the diocese in the next chapter of its life.”

You can read the full text of the Archbishop’s letter at

 Bishop Stephen will spend half of his time in Lincoln and the other in Ely.

 The Bishop of Ely, Stephen Conway, said:

“It is an honour to be asked to be Acting Bishop in the Lincoln Diocese, and I am looking forward enormously to forging new friendships and partnerships together in the Gospel.

 “In doing so, I hope to work closely with Bishops David and Nicholas, who will continue to provide a lead in key areas, as well as the many other lay and clergy leaders whose ministry blesses the diocese of Lincoln.

“Lincoln is blessed with a great number of talented leaders at both parish and diocesan level, and I am looking forward to working and praying with you in the months ahead and the implementation of A Time to Change Together – Resourcing Sustainable Church.”

The arrangement will be initially for a period of one year after which it will be reviewed. Stephen Conway has been Bishop of Ely since 2011, having previously served as Archdeacon of

Durham and Canon Treasurer of the Cathedral, and later as Bishop of Ramsbury in the Diocese of Salisbury.

 Since he was a curate, Bishop Stephen has been mentor and friend to clergy and lay people helping them to deepen their personal spirituality, with a strong focus on formation, prayer and worship. Bishop Stephen was introduced to the House of Lords in 2014, and later served as the House of

Bishops’ lead for Education, and Chair of the National Society Council. He also led work on the leadership development and formation of senior clergy on behalf of the House of Bishops.

Bishop Stephen is a keen walker and enjoys watching rugby and cricket, as well as going to the cinema. He is interested in the connection between faith and film. He reads theology, history and biography at any time, and thrillers at the end of the day. He likes to travel and enjoys travel literature, and both offering and receiving hospitality.

David Court, Suffragan Bishop of Grimsby, and Nicholas Chamberlain, Suffragan Bishop of Grantham, said: “tremendous progress has been made in addressing challenges faced by the diocese of Lincoln and we welcome Bishop Stephen’s wisdom, experience and pastoral care that will help us to build for the future.”