THE next Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments will be Stephen Knott, currently deputy chief of staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury, it was announced on Thursday.
Mr Knott has been part of the Lambeth Palace staff team since 2013, filling several positions, including assistant and then deputy chief of staff from 2016. Before then, he spent more than a decade working as a researcher in the House of Commons. He grew up in Northern Ireland and studied geography at Queen’s University Belfast. He was an officer in the Royal Naval Reserve from 2011 to 2018, and in July last year, he married Major General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich, Governor of Edinburgh Castle, in St John’s Episcopal Church, Edinburgh, with the Bishop of Edinburgh officiating.
The Archbishops’ Secretary manages the process for the appointment of bishops, deans, and other senior posts in the Church of England, working closely with the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary. Mr Knott will also work closely with the director of the Ministry Development Team (previously Ministry Division), Bishop Chris Goldsmith, “ensuring that recruitment, selection and discernment processes help increase diversity among senior leaders,” according to the release that announced his appointment. Responsibility for senior-leadership development programmes moved to the Ministry Development Team this month.
Welcoming the appointment of Mr Knott, a joint statement by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said: “His commitment to, and knowledge of, the Church of England stands him in sure stead to manage the processes for senior appointments, as the Church seeks to follow God’s call in the coming years.”
Mr Knott said: “The highlight in taking on this responsibility will be meeting as many people as possible, building relationships and listening, in order to effectively fulfil the important challenges of this role.”
Mr Knott was selected as Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments by an independent panel. He succeeds Caroline Boddington who was senior adviser to the Archbishops from 2004 to 2021 (News, 5 November). He will begin work at the end of this month.