The Revd Canon Anna Eltringham, currently the Team Rector for Oxted in the Diocese of Southwark, will be the new Bishop of Ripon, Downing Street announced this morning.
She will swap Surrey’s North Downs for the Yorkshire Dales and more when she becomes an Episcopal Area Bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, serving many rural parishes and varied urban communities from Ripon to Ribblehead and Richmond to Wetherby.
“Being nominated to be the next Bishop of Ripon is an honour,” Anna said. “I am excited to serve God and his people in this place and prayerfully grow his Kingdom on earth together. I have felt drawn back to the North of England for a number of years and have a strong sense of God’s call to this particular role.”
She grew up in the West Country and studied Business and Anthropology at the University of Durham, which sparked a love of the Northern countryside. Before entering ministry, Anna worked in strategic marketing, including a role in Croydon Council where she launched a successful programme that helped local businesses cut their impact on the environment.
Whilst increasingly involved in church, community and justice work, she discerned God’s call to ordained ministry, following in the footsteps of her father and previous generations in her family.
Anna was ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Southwark in 2008 and served her title at Holy Innocents in South Norwood. She then joined the Oxted Team Ministry (four churches in Surrey) where since 2019 she has been Team Rector. Since 2017 she has also been the Dean of Women’s Ministry, advocating for, and developing the ministry of lay and ordained women in the diocese and advising senior staff on such matters. She has also served as one of the Honorary Chaplains to the Sovereign since 2020.
The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, said: “Anna will be a huge gift to the Diocese of Leeds – as she has been to us in Southwark in giving leadership in mission as Oxted Team Rector and serving the Church more widely. Her insights, wisdom and pastoral skills – and particularly her gift of championing the ministry of lay and ordained women – will equip her well for episcopal ministry. I am delighted for Anna and her family – who will remain in our prayers for this exciting next stage of their journey with God.”
The Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds said of the appointment: “I am delighted to welcome Revd Canon Anna Eltringham as the next Bishop of Ripon and to this important rural area that includes the world-famous Yorkshire Dales.
“Our parishes and communities, big and small, will greet her with great warmth as her commitment to parish ministry and the environment will be evident from the word go.
“Anna’s pastoral care for clergy and lay leaders is evident from her previous work in the Diocese of Southwark and the wider church. She will greatly support our diocesan mission to encourage Christian confidence across the Ripon Episcopal Area and beyond.”
Looking forward to her new role, Anna said: “God has laid a number of things on my heart in recent times, including a passion for climate-care and justice; care for the wellbeing of clergy and all God’s people; a vision for a church that serves as much beyond as within its buildings; and children and young people at the heart of it all.”
The Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said: “Revd Canon Anna’s enthusiasm and love for parish ministry and her ability to connect, having been an advocate for clergy well-being and serving as Dean of Women’s Ministry, will be a great blessing to the parishes and Diocese of Leeds.”
Saxophone-playing Anna is married to Nigel and they have two daughters. They enjoy family trips out in her VW T25 campervan and visiting museums, galleries, arts events and the seaside. She also likes creative writing, walks in the country, trying to up-cycle furniture and chatting over a glass of something chilled.