His Majesty The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Alastair Cutting, Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich, as the fourteenth Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark. Archdeacon Alastair will be consecrated as Bishop of Woolwich in a special service at Southwark Cathedral on 3 July.

Announcing the appointment, the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun said: “It is with great joy that I share news of Alastair’s appointment to this key role in the diocese. Alastair is already very well regarded in the Woolwich Episcopal Area and has excellent relationships with clergy and lay people across both archdeaconries. I welcome him into the Episcopal Team and have no doubt that he will prove to be a wise and gracious Bishop of Woolwich who will prioritise our parishes and unify our churches in their mission and ministry. I commend Alastair and Kay to your prayers.”

Archdeacon Alastair described himself as being ‘surprised by joy’ to be appointed to the role, saying: “Being ‘Christ centred and outward focused’ isn’t just a motto or slogan for me; it’s what energises and empowers each daily encounter and conversation. I look forward to working with friends new and old in Southwark and Greenwich and Lewisham – and all our people and churches and communities here. May God bless us in the Woolwich Episcopal Area on this next phase of our shared pilgrimage.”

Alastair Cutting grew up in a Christian family in South India, where his parents were doctors in a rural village hospital. He made a personal commitment to faith at the age of nine. Before becoming archdeacon he served as a parish priest for 25 years, ministering in the diverse contexts of a Yorkshire mining parish, and an industrial village in Sheffield, as well as both rural and suburban contexts in Sussex. He is married to Kay, who is a teacher of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and special needs and they have two grown-up daughters.

“I am delighted that Alastair has been chosen as the next Bishop of Woolwich,” added The Venerable Jonathan Sedgwick, Archdeacon of Southwark, “I have worked closely with Alastair as colleague archdeacons and know at first hand his commitment and love for the parishes, clergy and people in his care and in the wider episcopal area in all our glorious diversity.  I look forward to working with him in this new role.”

Diocesan Secretary, Nicola Thomas said: “This appointment is great news, both for the Woolwich Episcopal Area and for our Diocese. I look forward to working alongside Alastair in his new role as we seek to make Southwark Vision a reality and see all of our parishes flourish.”

Archdeacon Alastair will succeed The Rt Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, who died in September last year.

About 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.

Watch our interview with The Venerable Alastair Cutting here