Archbishop of Canterbury Announces Plans for Diocese of Winchester

Archbishop of Canterbury Announces Plans for Diocese of Winchester

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced his plan for the Diocese of Winchester to follow after the retirement of Bishop Tim Dakin on 6 February.

He wrote to the Diocese:

“I have asked Bishop Debbie Sellin to continue in her role as acting bishop during the vacancy. Bishop Debbie will work closely with Bishop David Williams, and with the senior staff team, to provide collegial oversight to the people of God in Winchester Diocese. Bishop Debbie’s role will involve leading the senior leadership team and ensuring good working relationships, working with Bishop David in promoting clergy morale and wellbeing, ensuring that governance structures are fit for purpose and that the diocese is confident in financial sustainability, building on the Diocesan Vision for growth, and preparing the way for a successful appointment of the new Bishop of Winchester.

“Additionally, I have asked Bishop Richard Frith, who has been providing some support to diocesan leadership in recent months, to take up a more formalised role as the Archbishop’s Episcopal Commissary in the Diocese of Winchester. Bishop Richard’s role will be to work closely with Bishop Debbie as Acting Bishop, and with Bishop David, to walk alongside the senior staff team and the church as a whole in helping the diocese to move forward from the sad events of the recent past, to enable a process of reconciliation and healing and to recover confidence and joy in the service of Christ.

“Bishop Richard will provide on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Metropolitan, oversight of the process of Winchester moving towards the nomination of its next bishop, the formal process for which is anticipated to begin towards the end of 2022. I am very grateful to Bishop Debbie, Bishop David and Bishop Richard for the dedicated ministry they are already providing in the diocese, and to the whole people of God for your faithfulness and heart for God’s mission.

“I am delighted to announce that following the invitation of the Dean and Bishop Debbie, I shall be coming to Winchester Cathedral for the 11am service on the 16th January to worship and pray with you and to commission the episcopal team.

“As we begin this new year and look forward with hope to all that God can and will do in Winchester Diocese, please know that you will be very much in my prayers as you walk forward together.”

Bishop Dakin’s tenure was a point of contention in the last year and as a result, he chose to take early retirement.