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Emma Ineson takes over as Bishop of Kensington

15 December 2022

Dr Ineson is currently the Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York

Diocese of London

Dr Emma Ineson speaks to pupils at Bishop Wand School in Sunbury-on-Thames, on Thursday

Dr Emma Ineson speaks to pupils at Bishop Wand School in Sunbury-on-Thames, on Thursday

THE next Bishop of Kensington is to be the Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson, who is the present Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Downing Street announced on Thursday.

The announcement came on the same day that Dr Ineson’s new book was published: Failure: What Jesus said about sin, mistakes, and messing stuff up. It is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book for 2023.

She succeeds Dr Graham Tomlin, who stepped down in August to lead the new Centre for Cultural Witness at Lambeth Palace (News, 18 February).

Dr Ineson became the first Bishop to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in April 2021, when the post was created to replace the Bishop at Lambeth title (News, 23 April 2021). Before this, she was the Suffragan Bishop of Penrith.

The Kensington area covers the London Boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea, Hounslow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Richmond-upon-Thames, and Spelthorne in Middlesex. Dr Ineson was introduced on Thursday, beginning with a visit to Bishop Wand School in Sunbury-on-Thames with the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally. A press release from London diocese said that students from the C of E school had helped to decide the appointment by judging sermons from shortlisted candidates.

Dr Ineson, who was also due to visit several churches during her walkabout, said that the Church needed to “enable people to be confident in living and speaking about their faith” so that everyone in the “wonderfully diverse” area — of both extreme wealth and poverty — had a chance to respond.

“We need to be ambitious in supporting our parish churches in their transformational engagement with local communities, and ambitious about taking the risks needed to try the new and creative things that will herald the Kingdom of God here in London,” she said on Thursday.

Dr Ineson, who is 53, was ordained priest in 2001. She served her curacy at Christ Church, Dore, in Sheffield before joining the ecumenical Christian community of Lee Abbey for three years. She had trained at Trinity College Bristol in 1999, where she returned to become a tutor for six years from 2007, then Principal for five years from 2014, during which time she was a non-stipendiary minister at St Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop. She was appointed a chaplain to the Queen in 2016, and has been a chaplain to the Mothers’ Union since 2019, when she was appointed Bishop of Penrith.

Bishop Mullally said: “Emma brings with her a wealth of experience. . . Her theological wisdom and pastoral humility make her the ideal candidate to continue Bishop Graham’s great work in the Kensington Area and deliver the Diocese’s 2030 Vision in west London. I will be praying for her and her husband, Mat, as they prepare to join us in London in the new year.”

Archbishop Welby said: “In a relatively short period of time, she has played a key role in some truly historic moments for the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion, from chairing the Lambeth Conference Working Group, to her work supporting the College of Bishops on LLF [Living in Love and Faith] and her efforts to make the Church of England a place where vulnerable people are upheld and valued in safeguarding.

“Much of this work has been complicated and sensitive, and there has been no better person than Bishop Emma, with her acute grasp of, and love for, people, to steer it through.”

Archbishop Cottrell thanked Dr Ineson for her work on the Lambeth Conference in particular. “Her theological depth and pastoral heart has been a huge blessing.”

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