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.
The Bishop of Woolwich, The Rt Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu
The Bishop of Woolwich, Dr Karowei Dorgu, died peacefully after a long struggle with his health on Friday 8 September 2023.
Bishop Karowei was ordained Deacon in 1995 and Priest in 1996. His curacy was at St Mark, Tollington Park, followed by, in 1998, building the community of faith at St John, Upper Holloway, before being consecrated Bishop of Woolwich in 2017.
Born and brought up in Nigeria, Bishop Karowei worked as a medical doctor before ordination. He studied theology (BA Hons) at London Bible College. He trained for ordained ministry at Oak Hill College, Southgate, and undertook his postgraduate theological research for MA Missiology at All Nations College, Ware. He was always keen to share the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. He had a deep concern for mission and regularly led open-air evangelism in his parish which saw his church grow remarkably.
Bishop Karowei also had a keen interest in training candidates for lay and ordained ministry, offering his expertise as a tutor on a number of training programmes. He was for many years Assistant Director of Post Ordination Training in the Stepney Area. Prior to his appointment as Bishop of Woolwich, he was a Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Bishop Karowei is survived by Mosun, a Consultant Child Psychiatrist, their adult son Timi and his twin sister Collette.
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
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.
Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich, The Venerable Alastair Cutting
Alastair was born in 1960, and grew up in South India where four generations of his family lived and worked for nearly a century. His parents were doctors at a rural hospital; he subsequently spent a gap year working with the Salvation Army in South India, between school and a teaching and youth work degree at the University of Birmingham.
After theological college at St John’s Nottingham and ordination in 1987 and a couple of curacies in the Diocese of Sheffield, Alastair served in London and Chichester Dioceses before moving to Southwark. He has served as Pro-Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury of the General Synod; and is a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council.
Alastair’s Master’s dissertation was on Maori and Celtic spirituality. He is a keen musician, an average busking keyboard player and has an interest in the arts and film. He is married to Kay, and they have two grown-up daughters; the family has strong links with New Zealand.
Alastair was installed as Archdeacon of Lewisham and Greenwich in Southwark Cathedral on Sunday 14 April 2013.
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
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.