Downing Street has announced that the Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner ssc, currently Suffragan Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York, is to be the next Bishop of Chichester.
Dr Warner, 53, succeeds the Rt Revd John Hind who retired last month.
Dr Warner studied at St Chad’s College in Durham before completing his theological training at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He was ordained deacon (1984) and priest (1985) in Exeter Cathedral whilst working as Curate of St Peter’s Plymouth.
He moved north to the Midlands in 1988 to be Team Vicar for five years in the Parish of the Resurrection, Leicester before being elected to be the Priest Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham between 1993 and 2002. During his time in Norfolk he was also priest in charge of Hempton and Pudding Norton between 1998 and 2000. He was appointed Honorary Canon of Norwich between 2000 and 2002.
Dr Warner was then appointed as a residentiary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, firstly as Canon Pastor and latterly Treasurer where he made a big contribution particularly with regards to the Cathedral’s connection with the art world (2003–2010).
He was selected as suffragan Bishop of Whitby in the Diocese of York in 2010 and has served the parishes of the Cleveland archdeaconry which includes the contrasting communities of Middlesbrough and much of the North Yorkshire Moors.
Dr Warner is a regular contributor to the Church Times and has written five books. He is a cyclist, enjoys the arts and is well known for his hospitality and welcome – an art he perfected when welcoming thousands of pilgrims to England’s Nazareth, as Walsingham is known.
Dr Warner is a traditionalist who has worked resolutely in recent years to encourage provision in which people of all integrities can remain together. He worked closely with women priest colleagues at St Paul’s Cathedral and has sought to serve with equal care the ordained men and women in his episcopal patch in the north of England.
Bishop Warner said today: ‘It is a daunting and exciting challenge to be asked to serve the people of Sussex as the next Bishop of Chichester. I look forward very much to learning more about the mission in which we shall be engaging together, though it will be a big wrench leaving the North East so soon.’
The Rt Revd Mark Sowerby, the Acting Bishop of Chichester, said: ‘I am delighted that Dr Martin Warner, whom I have known for many years, is to be the new Bishop of Chichester. I believe that he will lead us with the effervescent energy and clarity that has always been distinctive of his ministry and I very much look forward to working alongside him in the service of the Church and people of Sussex.’