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Church-planter from St Michael-le-Belfrey, York, to be Bishop of Bolton

15 March 2023

Diocese of Manchester

The Revd Dr Matthew Porter

The Revd Dr Matthew Porter

THE next Suffragan Bishop of Bolton in Manchester diocese is to be the Revd Dr Matthew Porter, Vicar of St Michael-le-Belfrey, York, it was announced on Wednesday. He will succeed the Rt Revd Mark Ashcroft, who retired last month.

Dr Porter, who is 53, was ordained priest in 1997. He served his title at Christ Church, Dore, in Sheffield diocese, and was then Vicar of St Chad’s, Woodseats, from 2000 until 2009. Since 2010, he has been Vicar of St Michael-le-Belfrey — a resource church involved in church-planting. He was awarded a Doctorate in Ministry in church-planting by Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky, in the United States, last year. He is also an Honorary Chaplain to the King.

Dr Porter was introduced to the diocese of Manchester at St Philip’s, Salford, on Wednesday morning. He said that he was “humbled and thrilled” by his appointment. He was also “excited to be the lead bishop in mission, growth, and church-planting, and looking forward to serving the people and Church of such a fantastic part of the north”.

The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, said: “He brings us immediate experience of parish life and particular gifts in enabling church-planting and church growth. He is deeply committed to God’s mission here in the north.”

The Archbishop of York, who has recently returned from a visit to the diocese, said: “He will bring his experience, passion, and expertise in parish development, church-planting, and mission, but also his prayerful humility and godliness. . . We will miss him in York.”

Dr Porter will be consecrated in York Minster in June. He is married to Sam, who is a carer. They have five grown-up sons. Like his three eldest sons, who work in creative industries, Dr Porter “appreciates artistry, architecture and good design. He also loves a flat white coffee and bacon sandwich (with ketchup, not brown sauce),” and has been a Manchester United supporter since childhood.

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