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New bishop named for Kingston

16 December 2022

Diocese of Southwark

Canon Martin Gainsborough

Canon Martin Gainsborough

THE next Area Bishop of Kingston in the diocese of Southwark is to be Canon Martin Gainsborough, Downing Street announced on Friday.

He succeeds Dr Richard Cheetham, who retired in October.

Dr Gainsborough is currently chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, and a Residentiary Canon of Bristol Cathedral. He has particular responsibility for social-justice issues and “ensuring common mission” between the cathedral and diocese. He is also the Bishop’s staff environment lead and a member of the General Synod. In 2020, he tabled the amendment which brought forward the Church’s target to become net zero from 2050 to 2030 (News, 14 February).

Dr Gainsborough, who is 56, grew up in Kidbrooke, in south-east London. He lodged in Richmond while studying at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he completed his MA and M.Sc. in the early ’90s, and later a Ph.D. in 2001.

He came late to ordination, training at the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme in 2010 (which later merged with Sarum College). He was ordained priest in 2011, and since then has served in Bristol diocese, as a non-stipendiary minister in Barton Hill, where he became Priest-in-Charge from 2013. In 2016, he became a canon theologian at Bristol Cathedral, then diocesan social-justice and environment adviser, then Bishop’s chaplain in 2019.

Dr Gainsborough said on Friday: “My passion is the local church in all its diverse expressions. I can’t wait to get out and about on the ground in the Kingston area to connect with the parishes, clergy, and with our communities, and discern with others where God is leading.

“I aspire to a Church which is confident in the transformative power of the gospel, embedded in the communities we serve — vocal and active in the public square. As Bishop of Kingston, I will do all I can to encourage and support this and to make Jesus known in this generation.”

Welcoming him, the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, praised his wide-ranging experience. “He will bring his undoubted pastoral gifts, wisdom, and intellectual rigour to his episcopal ministry with imagination, and a spirit of encouragement.”

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