THE names of the final two bishops for the Church of England's
newest diocese, West Yorkshire & the Dales, have been
On Tuesday, Canon Toby Howarth was named as the new Bishop of
Bradford, and the Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs as the first Bishop of
Huddersfield. Both will be area bishops in the new diocese, which
was formed by amalgamating the dioceses of Ripon & Leeds,
Bradford, and Wakefield, at Easter.
Canon Howarth, who is 52, is currently Secretary for
Inter-Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and
National Inter-Religious Affairs Adviser for the C of E. He worked
in India and the Netherlands after his ordination in 1992, and has
a Ph.D. in Islamic preaching from the Free University of
After moving back to the UK in 2002, he was Vice-Principal of
Crowther Hall, the former CMS college, and then a priest-in-charge
in Birmingham. He is married to Henriette, who is from the
Netherlands and is also ordained, and they have three teenage
"The role has no shortage of opportunities and challenges,"
Canon Howarth said. "I am very much looking forward to working with
clergy, congregations, and ecumenical partners."
Dr Gibbs, who is 53, has been Rector of Heswall in the diocese
of Chester since 1998. He was previously a chaplain in Basel, in
the diocese in Europe, and is fluent in German and French. He
trained for ordination at Ridley Hall, and has a Cambridge Ph.D. in
theology. He is also a member of the General Synod and the Clergy
Discipline Commission. Dr Gibbs is married to Toni, and they have
three children, aged from 18 to 24.
Dr Gibbs is a member of the Campaign for Real Ale. "I am also
very partial to a pint of Timothy Taylor's 'Landlord', and am
looking forward to getting to know some more of the local
The new diocese is made up of five episcopal areas, each with
its own area bishop and archdeacon. The Area Bishop of Leeds, the
Rt Revd Nick Baines, is also the diocesan bishop.
Both men will be consecrated as bishops in York Minster on 17
October by the Archbishop of York.