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Bishops

The Diocese of Southwark is presided over by the Bishop of Southwark who is assisted by three Area Bishops. Each Area contains two Archdeaconries and Archdeacons assist the Bishops in leading the Church in the Diocese. The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun was enthroned at Southwark Cathedral on 6 March 2011 as the 10th Bishop of Southwark. The Diocesan Secretary is the lead officer within the Diocesan administrative structure to help serve the parishes and people of the Diocese.

The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun

Bishop Christopher read modern history at the University of Oxford, before training for the priesthood. He served curacies at St Michael & All Angels, Sandhurst and St Mary, Portsea.  In 1989 he became Chaplain and Minor Canon at St Paul’s Cathedral as well as Vocations Adviser in the Diocese of London.

Appointed in 1993 as Rector of St Dunstan & All Saints, Stepney, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, he served as Area Dean and held a number of ex-officio posts on the governing bodies of various Trusts and Church Schools and remains a Patron of Tower Hamlets Mission.

After four years as Archdeacon of Northolt, he was consecrated Bishop in Southwark Cathedral in 2005, taking up his appointment as Area Bishop of Woolwich and more widely from 2008 as Bishop for Urban Life and Faith.

In March 2011 he began public ministry as the 10th Bishop of Southwark.  He is a strong advocate for the parish system as the most effective means of Church presence and engagement in local communities, including the need to proclaim the Gospel afresh amid the rapid changes in church and community life.

Bishop Christopher maintains a keen interest in the Holy Land and is a trustee of the Balfour Project and Embrace the Middle East as well as Friends of the Holy Land.

In December 2014 he was introduced to the House of Lords as one of the 26 Lords Spiritual where he speaks on a wide range of issues including immigration, overseas development and foreign affairs.

The Bishop of Southwark’s Chaplain is Revd Alun Ford.

If you want to contact the Bishop about services or diary arrangements please e-mail Emma Kimsey

If you want to contact the Bishop about clergy matters please e-mail Clare Chesterman.

Follow the Bishop of Southwark on Twitter at twitter.com/BishopSouthwark.

The Bishop Designate of Woolwich, The Venerable Alastair Cutting

Alastair grew up in a Christian family in South India, where his parents were doctors in a remote village hospital. He gave his life to Christ at the age of nine and cannot recall ever not being a Christian.

Alastair was educated at Westhill College, Birmingham University, trained for ministry at St John’s College in Nottingham and gained a Masters at Heythrop College, University of London. Although Alastair trained for ministry in an Open Evangelical theological college context, he describes his personal spirituality as informed and nurtured through Celtic and Catholic traditions, too.

He served his title post at All Saints Woodlands in Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield and was ordained priest in 1988. He served as Assistant Curate at Wadsley from 1989 and in 1991 was appointed Chaplain to The Nave Arts Centre and the Town Centre in Uxbridge, in the Diocese of London.

In 1996, Alastair was appointed Vicar of Copthorne, West Sussex, in the Diocese of Chichester, and from 2010 he served as Vicar of Henfield and Rector of Shermanbury and Woodmancote.

He has been elected twice to serve on the General Synod, and twice also elected as ProProlocutor of the House of Clergy. Alastair has served in his current role as Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich in the Diocese of Southwark since 2013.

As a young curate Alastair found himself dealing with the traumatic events around the Hillsborough disaster, and – much later on – with the responses around the tragic deaths of Lee Rigby and Sabina Nessa in London – which he describes as experiences that have helped form and shape him. He ran a church-based arts centre for five years in West London.

Alastair is married to Kay, a teacher of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and special needs, and they have two grown up daughters – Hannah and Laura – as well as a black Labrador called Maia.

 

The Bishop of Croydon, The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett

Rosemarie trained for ministry at the South Eastern Institute for Theological Education (SEITE, now known as St Augustine’s College) and was ordained in 2004. She served her curacy at Christ Church, Brixton in the Diocese of Southwark and was appointed Priest-in-Charge of St John, Angell Town in 2007, becoming Vicar in 2013; the same year in which she also became an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral. Rosemarie was Archdeacon of Croydon from March 2020 until her consecration as Bishop of Croydon in June 2022.

Rosemarie has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of England since 2010. Prior to ordination, she obtained a PhD in sociology and worked as a senior researcher and honorary lecturer and in the field of BAME mental health.

The Bishop of Kingston, The Rt Revd Dr Martin Gainsborough

Archdeacons

Archdeacon of Croydon, The Venerable Greg Prior

Greg was born in 1968 in South Africa and is a proud African. He was ordained Deacon in 1995 and Priest in 1996. He spent 7 years of ordained ministry in South Africa and has regularly returned to the continent of his birth to participate in training and discipleship.

Greg became Vicar of All Saints with Holy Trinity, Wandsworth, a two church parish, in September 2004 and has seen it transformed into a growing, vibrant and culturally diverse Christian community, representing more than 14 different nationalities.

Greg was Area Dean of Wandsworth and served as Acting Archdeacon of Wandsworth in 2021 while The Venerable John Kiddle was on Sabbatical.

Greg enjoys spending time with his wife, Judith, and their three children, Rebecca, Sarah, and Nathan. He is a keen Chelsea supporter and enjoys watching rugby, “especially when South Africa are playing.” He enjoys listening to a wide variety of music styles and plays the guitar, saxophone and sings.

Greg was installed as Archdeacon of Croydon in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday the 4th December 2022.

Archdeacon of Lambeth, The Venerable Simon Gates

Simon was born in 1960 and studied at St John’s College, Cranmer Hall, University of Durham. He was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1988 and served his title at St John’s Southall, in London Diocese.

He then became Associate Minister of St Andrew, Kowloon in Hong Kong for four years before moving to the Diocese of Southwark.  He was Vicar of St Thomas with St Stephen, Telford Park, for 17 years and Area Dean of Lambeth South Deanery. Before he was ordained Simon taught English at an Anglican school in Macau.

He is married to Helen, who is a self-employed HR consultant, and has three children. He enjoys hiking, his allotment, and cooking for others.

Simon was installed as Archdeacon of Lambeth in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 29 September 2013.

Designate Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich, The Revd Canon Dr Chigor Chike

Chigor Chike was born in 1966 in Nigeria. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Benin before working for Lever Brothers Nigeria until he moved to the UK in 1992.

In 1999, Chigor completed his training as a Church Army Evangelist and was appointed as Homeless Outreach Worker at St Martin in the Bull Ring in Birmingham. In 2002, Chigor moved to become the Community Evangelist for St Luke’s Church Canning Town. In this role, he established Canning Town Outlook, which organised English Language classes and dress-making lessons for refugees in the area. While in this role, Chigor discerned a calling for ordained ministry and trained at St John’s College in Nottingham. He was ordained in 2006 and served his curacy at St Luke’s Canning Town. In 2010, he was appointed Vicar of Emmanuel Church Forest Gate, where he has served until now.

Chigor is a keen student, having gained a National Diploma in Evangelism Studies (Church Army), a BA in Theology (University of Gloucestershire), an MTh in Applied Theology (Oxford University), a PhD in Theology (University of Birmingham) and an MA in Islamic Studies (University of Wales Trinity Saint David).

He has published several books and articles on Christian theology and social issues and his book, African Christianity in Britain, is seen by many as ground-breaking in its field. His second book, Voices From Slavery, has also been highly commended. Chigor is a visiting lecturer at the University of Roehampton and has acted as consultant on diversity, equity and inclusion for a number organisations.

Alongside parish ministry, he is a chaplain to King Charles, a member of the Archbishops’ Racial Justice Commission, Chair of REIN (a London-based equalities organisation) and coordinator of an Interfaith project called Faithful Friends, among other roles.

Archdeacon of Reigate, The Venerable Moira Astin

Moira was born in 1965 and grew up in Staines, North Surrey.  She went to Clare College, Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences. After some years working in computing, she went to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford to train for ordained ministry.

Her curacy was at Newbury in West Berkshire, in Oxford Diocese, followed by five years as Team Vicar in nearby Thatcham. She was then Vicar of St James in Woodley near Reading, before moving to North Lincolnshire where she served as Vicar of Frodingham and New Brumby, in the heart of Scunthorpe, and as Area Dean of North Lincolnshire.

Moira is married to Tim and they have one son, Ed. Moira enjoys bird-watching, especially trips to the Farne Islands to see puffins, and together with Tim is researching the history of the Church in this country between 400AD and 600AD

Moira was installed as Archdeacon of Reigate in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 30 October 2016.

Archdeacon of Southwark, The Venerable Jonathan Sedgwick

Jonathan was born in Sheffield in 1963 and remained there until going to Brasenose College, Oxford to read law, Cape Coast in Ghana to teach, and then the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield to train for ministry.

Jonathan served his curacy in Chichester and then became Dean of Divinity at Magdalen College, Oxford.  In 1994 Jonathan left full-time ministry to join the Civil Service where his roles included working as Principal Private Secretary to Home Secretary David Blunkett and Deputy Chief Executive of the Border Agency.   During this time Jonathan served as an SSM in the Woolwich Episcopal Area.  Jonathan became Rector of St George the Martyr in Borough in 2014 and served there until he was appointed Archdeacon of Southwark and installed at Southwark Cathedral in May 2022.

Jonathan enjoys spending time with family and friends, climbing mountains, reading and going to music and the theatre.

Archdeacon of Wandsworth, The Venerable John Kiddle

John was born and brought up in Africa. Having read maths and theology at university (and after a time as a maths teacher at Bacon’s School in Bermondsey) he was ordained Deacon in 1982 and priest in 1983, serving his curacy and first incumbency in the Diocese of Liverpool.

He then moved to the Diocese of St Albans to become Vicar of St Luke, Watford; after several years there he was appointed Diocesan Director of Mission and Residentiary Canon of St Albans Abbey.

John writes regularly for the CHP Reflections series and has worked closely with the national Christmas and Lent campaigns; most recently editing Comfort and Joy, the Church of England’s reflections for Advent and Christmas 2020.  He is the Chair of the National Archdeacons Forum.

John was installed as Archdeacon of Wandsworth in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 22 November 2015.

@johnkiddle on Twitter

Diocesan Secretary

Nicola Thomas

Nicola Thomas became Diocesan Secretary (Chief Executive) of the Diocese of Southwark in September 2023 after a career in the civil service. Nicola spent more than 20 years in public service, including time in the Treasury and as Private Secretary to Home Secretaries David Blunkett and Charles Clarke, and most recently as a Senior Civil Servant in the Resettlement, Asylum Support and Integration Directorate of the Home Office where she set up the community sponsorship scheme for refugees.

Nicola is a policy and strategy professional with extensive leadership experience. She is a trustee of the Caritas Social Action Network, a member of the Commission on the Integration of Refugees convened by the Woolf Institute at the University of Cambridge, and an enthusiastic member of a church choir in the Diocese.

Nicola’s Personal Assistant for diary matters and general queries is Henry. For other matters, including governance and parish/deanery queries, please contact Nicola’s Executive Assistant Charles Hudson-Beddows.

The South London Church Fund and Southwark Diocese Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee (No. 236594).
Registered Office: Trinity House, 4 Chapel Court, Borough High Street, London SE1 1HW. Registered Charity: (No. 249678).

© The Diocese of Southwark 2024. All rights reserved.
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