New Bishop for West London

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N.b. This will be Bishop Ineson’s third episcopal appointment since 2019

The Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson, currently Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, has today been announced as the Diocese of London’s next Bishop of Kensington, an area covering the London Boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Richmond-upon-Thames.

The official announcement came from Downing Street while the Bishop-designate visited Bishop Wand School, a leading Church of England School in Sunbury-on-Thames, students from which played a role in deciding her appointment by judging sermons from shortlisted candidates. The students, together with Daniel Aldridge, Executive Head Teacher of Bishop Wand School, welcomed Bishop Emma and the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE.

As part of today’s introduction to the Kensington Area, the Bishop-designate will visit a number of churches spanning the breadth of the Anglican tradition, including Hope Church Hounslow, whose foodbank is supporting a number of local individuals and families in financial difficulty amidst the cost of living crisis.

Bishop Emma will formally take up her post in spring 2023 and will join the College of Bishops in the Diocese of London. She succeeds the Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin as Bishop of Kensington, who stepped down in August to lead the Centre for Cultural Witness.

Bishop Emma was ordained in 2000 and served her curacy in Christ Church, Dore in the Diocese of Sheffield, before moving to Devon where she was a Chaplain to the Lee Abbey, an ecumenical Christian community. She was appointed as Tutor of Practical and Pastoral Theology at Trinity College, Bristol in 2006, and Director of Pastoral Studies in 2010. She was appointed Principal in 2014. During this time she also served as Associate Minister of St Matthew’s, Kingsdown, and of St Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop, in the Diocese of Bristol. In 2019, Emma was appointed Bishop of Penrith in the Diocese of Carlisle, and in 2021 she took up her current role as Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Emma has been a member of the 2022 Lambeth Conference Design Group, chairs the Church of England Minority Ethnic Vocations Advisory Group, is a member of the Commission for Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, and the Tearfund Theology Committee, and is Central Chaplain to the Worldwide Mother’s Union.

The Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson, the next Bishop of Kensington, said:

“The Kensington Area, so wonderfully diverse, stretches from Knightsbridge to Heathrow, encapsulating areas of extreme wealth and also of poverty, with nearly a million Londoners calling it home. For the good news of Jesus Christ to reach every corner of Kensington, we need to enable people to be confident in living and speaking about their faith, so that everyone has an opportunity to hear and respond. We need to be ambitious in supporting our parish churches in their transformational engagement with local communities, and ambitious about taking the risks needed to try the new and creative things that will herald the Kingdom of God here in London.

“I leave Lambeth Palace with thanks to Archbishop Justin and Archbishop Stephen, and look forward to the blessings and opportunities of ministry in Kensington with a warm spirit.”

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, Bishop of London, said:

“Emma brings with her a wealth of experience, from theological education and parish ministry in the South West, to episcopal leadership in the North West and of working with the Archbishops and their teams at Lambeth and Bishopthorpe. Her theological wisdom and pastoral humility make her the ideal candidate to continue Bishop Graham’s great work in the Kensington Area and deliver the Diocese’s 2030 Vision in West London. I will be praying for her and her husband, Mat, as they prepare to join us in London in the New Year.”

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said:

“My delight that Bishop Emma will be moving to a new role, where her considerable skills and expertise will be put to excellent use, is tempered only by my disappointment that we will not have the benefit of her presence at Lambeth Palace. In a relatively short period of time, she has played a key role in some truly historic moments for the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion, from chairing the Lambeth Conference Working Group, to her work supporting the College of Bishops on LLF and her efforts to make the Church of England a place where vulnerable people are upheld and valued in safeguarding. Much of this work has been complicated and sensitive, and there has been no better person than +Emma, with her acute grasp of, and love for, people, to steer it through.

“I am so pleased that +Emma will still be a close neighbour as Bishop of Kensington in the Diocese of London. I look forward greatly to the publication of her Archbishops’ 2023 Lent Book shortly, and I know her wisdom will guide many through that season of reflection. Please join me and Archbishop Stephen in prayer for her and her family – that this new step along God’s path will bring her joy and fulfilment in the service of His Kingdom.”

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, said:

“I’d like to thank Bishop Emma for all she has done as Bishop to the Archbishops and more widely in her work on this summer’s Lambeth Conference.  Her theological depth and pastoral heart has been a huge blessing. Emma will bring many gifts and broad experience to her new responsibilities as Bishop of Kensington. She moves on with my gratitude, prayers and blessing.”