THE new Bishop-designate of Whitby, the Ven. Paul Ferguson, has
said that there are no divisions to be healed, two years after the
previous Bishop-designate, the Revd Philip North, withdrew, after a
row over his traditionalist position on the ordination of
Archdeacon Ferguson, who is currently Archdeacon of Cleveland
(above, at a foodbank at Holy Trinity, North Ormesby,
Middlesbrough), said that he did not think the archdeaconry was
split between those opposed and those in favour of women priests
and bishops, and insisted that he did not need to build
"The bridges are already there," he said last Friday. "It
wouldn't be right to see this as people who are split. People have
convictions, but I see, day to day, the way that people
The suffragan see of Whitby, in the diocese of York, has
continued to be vacant for 18 months, since Fr North, Team Rector
of the Old St Pancras Team, in London, withdrew his acceptance of
the post in 2012, after protests from some local clergy and laity
at his position on women's ordination (
News, 14 December 2012).
The new Bishop-designate said that he had always believed that
God called both men and women to all orders of ministry in the
Church, but that he would be a bishop for all. "It is my conviction
that the Church of England is right in saying that both supporters
of women's ministry and those who cannot in conscience be
reconciled to such ministry have a place in the life of the Church.
That's something I have always sought to promote, and will continue
to do so as Bishop."
Archdeacon Ferguson, who is 58, was Chaplain and then Precentor
at Westminster Abbey between 1988 and 1995. He was then a
Residentiary Canon and Precentor at York Minster, before becoming
Archdeacon of Cleveland in 2001. He is married to Penny, and they
have three grown-up children.
The next Suffragan Bishop of Selby, also in the diocese of York,
will be Canon John Thomson, it was announced on Friday last week.
Canon Thomson is director of ministry in the diocese of
After serving a curacy in Eccleshall, Sheffield, he worked in
South Africa from 1989 to 1992, both as a theology lecturer and as
a parish priest in Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape. Before
becoming director of ministry in 2001, he was Vicar of St Mary's,
Two other suffragan bishops were also announced by Downing
Street last Friday. The Archdeacon of Nottingham, the Ven. Peter
Hill, will become the Bishop of Barking, in the diocese of
Chelmsford. Archdeacon Hill served in the diocese of Southwell
& Nottingham from 1983 to 2004, before becoming diocesan chief
The Ven. Roger Morris will be the next Bishop of Colchester,
also in the diocese of Chelmsford. He has been Archdeacon of
Worcester since 2008. Before this, he was director of parish
development and evangelism in the diocese of Coventry. He also
manages the Canopy Stage at the Greenbelt festival.
An evangelist and former actor, the Revd Rob Gillion, has been
elected the new Bishop of Riverina, in New South Wales, Australia.
Mr Gillion, who is currently Rector of Holy Trinity and St Saviour,
Upper Chelsea, is a member of the Archbishops' College of
Evangelists, as well as a contributor to the BBC's religious
programming, including Pause for Thought on Radio 2.