Press Releases

News from the Diocese of Southwark

Two new Area Bishops for Southwark Diocese

3 Feb 2012

Diocesan Director of Communications

Tel: 020 7939 9400
Mobile: 07831 694021
Fax: 020 7939 9468

Downing Street has announced that the Rev Jonathan Clark has been appointed the 10th Bishop of Croydon and the Venerable Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE has been appointed the 12th Bishop of Woolwich. The Revd Jonathan Clark succeeds the Rt Rev Nick Baines who is now the 10th Bishop of Bradford and the Venerable Dr Michael Ipgrave OBE succeeds the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun who is now the 10th Bishop of Southwark. They will be consecrated in Southwark Cathedral on 21 March 2012.  

The media were invited to meet the two newly appointed Bishops at a press conference held at Southwark Cathedral on Friday 3 February, the day of the announcement. Highlights of the press conference can be seen at: and some pictures from the morning are on the Diocesan Flickr photostream at:

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun comments, 'I am delighted to welcome two new Episcopal colleagues into Southwark Diocese and very much look forward to continuing to work with Michael Ipgrave and to welcoming Jonathan Clark to my senior staff.Together they will bring a variety of ministerial experience and interests and Bishop Richard and I are looking forward to their contributions.'  

The Revd Jonathan Clark has been Rector of St Mary, Stoke Newington in the Diocese of London since 2003 & was Priest in Charge of St John's Brownswood Park from 2004 to 2011. He trained for ordination at Trinity College Bristol and was ordained deacon in the Diocese of Carlisle and served his title in Carlisle.Prior to becoming Rector of St Mary's he had been Chaplain of two universities: Bristol and London Metropolitan and Director of Studies, Southern Training Scheme for Christian Ministry.He was Rector General of the Society of Catholic Priests between 2005 and 2008 and is currently Chair of Affirming Catholicism, UK. He is married to Alison, who is a senior lecturer in childhood studies and they have two grown up children.

Jonathan's interests include adult and theological education, serving as a Governor of the YMCA George Williams College. He is a fan of Westray, in the Orkney Islands, which is his favourite place for walking, reading and writing. He blogs at  He is fascinated by the interaction between faith and contemporary culture, particularly as it affects the church's worship and witness.He follows the fortunes of Tottenham Hotspur.  

The Venerable Michael Ipgrave has been Archdeacon of Southwark since 2004. He was also appointed Canon Missioner of Southwark Cathedral in 2010 and is Chair of the Southwark and London Housing Association and Anglican Borough Dean of Southwark.Prior to this he had been the Inter Faith Relations Adviser to the Archbishops' Council and Secretary of the Churches Commission on Inter faith Relations.He was awarded the OBE in the New Year's Honours List in 2011 for services to inter faith relations in London. Michael Ipgrave is married to Julia, who works at Warwick University as an academic researcher in education; they have three grown up sons.  

Michael Ipgrave has written extensively on inter faith issues and questions of religion and human rights. He has edited six volumes on Christian-Muslim relations, is the author of Trinity and Inter Faith Dialogue (Peter Lang, 2003), and has contributed about thirty journal articles and book chapters. He has an interest in all things Japanese, and he and Julia enjoy walking and travel together.  

The Venerable Michael Ipgrave and the Revd Jonathan Clark will visit their Episcopal Areas when they take up their new roles in the late spring.

Short Biographies  

The Revd Jonathan Clark  
Born 13 February 1961

1972 - 1979: Alleyns School, Dulwich
1980 - 1983: Exeter University BA (Hons) English Literature
1984 - 1988: Trinity College, Bristol. Dip HE (Theology)
1986 - 1990: M. Litt. Theology. Research degree: Narrational technique in the gospel according to Matthew

1988: Ordained Deacon    
1989: Ordained Priest
1988 - 1992: Assistant Curate, St Michael, Stanwix, Carlisle with St Mark, Belah
1990 - 1996: Open University / Southampton University. MA (Ed.) Adult Education
1992 - 1993: Anglican Chaplain, University of Bristol
1994 - 1997: Director of Studies, Southern Training Scheme for Christian Ministry
1997 - 2003: University Chaplain, London Metropolitan University
1999 - 2003: Area Dean of Islington
2003 -         : Rector, St Mary Stoke Newington
2004 - 2011: Priest-in-charge, St John Brownswood Park
2005 - 2010: General Synod
2005 - 2008: Rector General, Society of Catholic Priests
2006 - 2010: Fresh Expressions Round Table 5: Catholic/Contemplative
2006 - 2011: Board member & Chair of Academic Board, St Mellitus College
2008 -         : Chair of Board of Affirming Catholicism UK
2008 -         : Bishops' Advisory Panel Selector    

The Venerable Dr Michael Geoffrey Ipgrave  
Born in Northampton 18 April 1958

1968 - 1975: educated at Magdalen College School, Brackley, Northants
1975 - 1978: Oriel College, Oxford: BA Mathematics (1st class Hons)
1978 - 1979: Spring Hill Ordination Scheme, Birmingham
1979 - 1982: Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford: Oxford Certificate in Theology
1981          : Oxford University BA Theology (1st class Hons)

1982: Ordained Deacon
1983: Ordained Priest

1982 - 1985: Assistant Curate, All Saints, Oakham, Diocese of Peterborough
1985 - 1987: Assistant Priest, Church of the Resurrection, Chiba, Diocese of Yokohama, Japan
1987 - 1990: Team Vicar, Parish of Ascension, Diocese of Leicester
1990 - 1999: Bishop's Adviser on Inter Faith Relations, Diocese of Leicester
1990 - 1999: Parish of the Holy Spirit, Leicester (Team Rector)
1992 - 1999: Research Assistant and Chaplain to the Bishop of Leicester
1999 - 2004: Inter faith Relations Adviser, Archbishops' Council
1999 - 2004: Secretary, Churches' Commission on Inter Faith Relations
1999 - 2004: Hon. Assistant Priest, Parish of the Presentation, Leicester    
2000           : PhD in Theology from the University of Durham
2004           : MA in Japanese religions from the University of London (SOAS)
2004 - 2012: Archdeacon of Southwark
2006 - 2007: Priest-in-Charge, St George the Martyr, Southwark
2007 - 2010: Chair of Governors of St Michael and All Angels CE Academy
2009 - 2010: Priest-in-Charge, St John, Peckham
2010 -         : Canon Missioner, Southwark Cathedral    

The role of an Area Bishop in the Diocese of Southwark is to assist the Diocesan Bishop in the oversight and pastoral care of parishes in one of the three Episcopal Areas in the Diocese.  

The Croydon Episcopal Area is made up of the Archdeaconries of Croydon and Reigate.

The Archdeaconry of Reigate comprises the three Area Deaneries of Caterham (9 parishes), Godstone (17 parishes), and Reigate (23 parishes).  

The Archdeaconry of Croydon comprises the Area Deaneries of Croydon Addington (9 parishes), Croydon Central (10 parishes), Croydon North (12 parishes), Croydon South (9 parishes) and Sutton (14 parishes).  

The Episcopal Area includes Croydon itself, and extends to Sutton and Reigate in the north-west, south to the edge of Gatwick Airport and to Godstone and Lingfield in the south and south-east.    

The Woolwich Episcopal Area is comprised of the Archdeaconries of Southwark and Lewisham and Greenwich. It spreads from Abbey Wood in the east to Southwark Cathedral in the west and as far south as Catford.  

Southwark Archdeaconry comprises the Area Deaneries of Bermondsey, (7 parishes), Camberwell (8 parishes), Dulwich (7 parishes) and Southwark and Newington (11 parishes)  

Lewisham & Greenwich Archdeaconry comprises the Area Deaneries of Charlton (9 parishes), Deptford (8 parishes), East Lewisham (13 parishes), Eltham and Mottingham (8 parishes), Plumstead (10 parishes) and West Lewisham (9 parishes).