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Dr Jo Bailey Wells to be Anglican Communion’s first Bishop for Episcopal Ministry

17 October 2022

Anglican Communion

Dr Jo Bailey Wells

Dr Jo Bailey Wells

THE first Bishop for Episcopal Ministry in the Anglican Communion — a new post to “build on the success” of the Lambeth Conference — is to be the Bishop of Dorking, Dr Jo Bailey Wells, it was announced on Monday.

Dr Wells was appointed by the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion when it met in London last week. She will leave her suffragan see in the diocese of Guildford to take up her new post in January.

This year’s Lambeth Conference, held over ten days in July and August after being postponed during the pandemic (News, 10 July 2020), was divided into three phases: small online discussion groups; the in-person gathering; and the future discussion of the Lambeth Calls in Provinces around the Communion (News, 17 June).

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to write to the bishops of the Communion with an update on this last phase, which Dr Wells, who is a former chaplain to Archbishop Welby, will be implementing as a significant part of her new role.

The Secretary General of the Communion, the Rt Revd Anthony Poggo, explained on Monday that the post had been designed to “foster a collaborative, engaged, enriched fellowship among the bishops of the Anglican Communion, inspiring ever greater companionship, learning and interchange between Provinces.

“This will build on the outcomes of Lambeth ’22, taking forward the Lambeth Conference Calls as well as the renewed relationships between bishops across varying Provinces.”

He would be working with Dr Wells “to facilitate and enable ongoing conversation, study, and prayer amongst bishops, alongside supporting the dissemination of the Calls throughout the Communion”, he said.

Archbishop Welby said that the Conference had been “remarkable in renewing friendships, relationships, and connections” across the Communion. The appointment would “take advantage” of the renewed determination for unity, he said.

Dr Wells said: “Having first encountered the diversity and dynamism of the Anglican Communion as my vocation emerged in the Church of Uganda in the 1980s, I am awed by the sense of God’s invitation to this newly created role.”

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