THE next Bishop of Rochester is to be Dr Jonathan Gibbs (above), at present Bishop of Huddersfield in the diocese of Leeds, Downing Street announced on Thursday.
He succeeds the Rt Revd James Langstaff, who retired in July of last year.
Dr Gibbs, who is 60, has been the lead bishop for safeguarding since 2020, and has updated the General Synod on how the Church of England is responding to the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA). He is also a member of the Meissen Commission.
He was consecrated bishop, for the suffragan see of Huddersfield, in 2014, before which he was, for 16 years, Rector of Heswall in Chester diocese. 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 Ph.D. in theology from Jesus College, Cambridge. He is married to Toni, and they have three adult children.
Dr Gibbs is a member of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Campaign for Real Ale.
Dr Gibbs said on Thursday: “I am delighted to have been announced as the new Bishop of Rochester. My wife, Toni, and I are so excited about the prospect of moving to this wonderful diocese.
“For us, Rochester will be a new place to discover, and we’re so looking forward to getting to know the people of our churches and our communities, and to working together with them as we encourage God’s kingdom to grow in this wonderfully varied and rich place.
“We are very conscious of the diversity of the communities that we serve, from urban and suburban to profoundly rural, and I am looking forward to the opportunity of exploring all these different places and to sharing in the journey with the people here of growing God’s Church, of serving the communities, and of proclaiming the good news of Christ to the people whom we seek to love and to serve in Jesus’s name.”
Dr Gibbs’s installation is expected to take place in September, the diocese of Rochester said.
Read more about Dr Gibbs’s appointment here