THE Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, is to become the next Bishop of Salisbury.

The Queen approved his nomination for election as the next Bishop of Salisbury and the announcement was made yesterday (Thursday January 13) by No10 Downing Street.

Dean Stephen, who grew up in Poole, said: "It is such a privilege and a joy to be called back to the Diocese of Salisbury as Bishop. To be able to serve in the places that formed me will be something rare and special. I will enjoy visiting Dorset and Wiltshire today and look forward to meeting as many people as possible on this announcement day.

"Coming from leading a major cathedral I have a clear sense of the importance of great organisation, of good culture and rootedness in place. I hope to lead a confident diocese as we move out of the pandemic together.

"After today, preparations can begin for this new ministry in the diocese and in due course, with the Channel Islands, and I look forward to arriving just as soon as possible."

Dean Stephen trained for ministry at Chichester Theological College and held his curacy at Sherborne Abbey with Castleton and Lillington. He was ordained Priest in 1989 then later became Vicar of St Aldhelm’s, Branksome, Poole from 1992 and appointed Rural Dean of Poole in 2000.

In 2001, Stephen was appointed Sub Dean of St Albans, and took up his current role as Dean of Gloucester in 2011.

Stephen is a Church Commissioner and Lead Dean for Safeguarding.

He is married to Carol, and they have three adult children.

Acting Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Sherborne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham, added: "I am delighted that Stephen has accepted the invitation to be the 79th Bishop of Salisbury.

"Stephen brings significant creative gifts of leadership to the diocese at an important time in our life as we continue to encourage the local church to be the best that it can be, bringing hope to our local communities in sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Stephen knows the diocese from the past and understands the challenges and opportunities for both our urban and our rural contexts."

It is anticipate that Stephen will be consecrated as Bishop sometime after Easter and will be enthroned in Salisbury Cathedral late in the summer.

Gillian Clarke, the chair of the House of Laity and a diocesan representative on the Crown Nominations Commission, said: "I am delighted that Dean Stephen Lake is to be our new Bishop of Salisbury. During the discernment process he radiated warmth, good humour, and an engaging confidence that together, in our churches and communities, we can achieve great things.

"I was struck by his boldness, his vision, and his passion for sharing God's love with all people, everywhere. Stephen brings energy, experience, and a deep-rooted love of Salisbury diocese.

"I am excited and encouraged as we face the future, challenging and often uncertain, with such a caring and inspiring leader and pastor, who can enable and empower us to build and grow in confidence, hope and common purpose."

On arrival, Stephen will be the 79th Bishop of Salisbury.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam retired as Bishop of Salisbury last July.


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