Bishop Becomes Bishop and Mann Becomes Archdeacon


The Venerable Ian Bishop, Archdeacon of Macclesfield, has been announced as the next Suffragan Bishop of Thetford, Norwich diocese.

The soon-to-be Bishop Bishop is 62 and was ordained priest in 1992. He served in parish ministry in Southwark and Norwich dioceses before moving to Middlewich, in the Diocese of Chester. He was appointed Archdeacon of Macclesfield in 2011.

Bishop will be consecrated as Bishop in Westminster Abbey on 29th September. A service of welcome is to take place at Norwich Cathedral the next day.


Revd Canon Rachel Mann has been announced as the next Archdeacon of Bolton and Salford. This appointment has been hailed as a breakthrough in the usual quarters since the cleric identifies as both a trans-woman and a lesbian.

Mann is known as a poet, author and broadcaster, who has contributed to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day. Published works include the 2012 book Dazzling Darkness: Gender, Sexuality, Illness & God, an autobiographical account of growing up as the boy Jack Mann, yet identifying as female.

Mann was ordained deacon in 2005 and priest in 2006 to serve in the Diocese of Manchester. Posts held over the last eighteen years include Resident Poet at Manchester Cathedral and full-time Area Dean of Bury and Rossendale. Mann is a member of General Synod, and a patron of Open Table Network, an LGBT support group in the church.

On Canon Mann’s personal website is published liturgical material, including a Prayer of Approach, which feminises the persons of the Trinity – projecting personal experience upon the divine, a recasting of God in one’s own image.

The prayer begins, “Holy God, chuckling wise woman, tender and strange, we bless you. Bless us, trouble us, bewitch us into delight in your love, mercy and grace.
Christ our Sister, unite us in your holy bleeding…”

Mann’s appointment was met with the expected congratulatory noises from the usual suspects. Ex-evangelical and gay rights campaigner Jayne Ozanne said, “I am absolutely thrilled to hear the good news of Rachel’s appointment as the new Archdeacon of Salford and Bolton…As our first senior member of the clergy who happens to be trans, I know her [sic] appointment will be a beacon of light and hope to all within the LGBT+ community and beyond who are worried about the impact of the divisive culture wars that are being waged by a small but powerful minority.”