After consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Fr Paul Thomas SSC has been appointed as the first Bishop of Oswestry. The Society’s Council of Bishops is delighted to hear this news and warmly congratulates Fr Paul. 

Fr Paul, once consecrated, will provide sacramental and pastoral oversight to Society parishes in the western half of the southern province of the Church of England; the area will now become known as the See of Oswestry and was formerly the See of Ebbsfleet.

Fr Paul’s service to the Church has been rooted in parochial ministry in and around the capital and he has been the parish priest of his current church – St James, Sussex Gardens in Paddington, London which is a parish under the episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Fulham – for the last 11 years. 

Fr Paul became well known during lockdown for his innovative use of social media, providing content which was both entertaining and evangelistic. He also spent a couple of years as the acting Archdeacon of Charing Cross in recent years which will provide him with invaluable experience for his new role.

Bishop Tony Robinson commented: ‘Fr Paul has served the Church faithfully and with imagination and good humour over the last 20 years. He is a talented communicator and he has much to offer the parishes of the See of Oswestry. We very much look forward to his episcopacy starting in early 2023.’

Fr Paul’s consecration will be on Thursday 2 February 2023, the Feast of Candlemas, in Canterbury Cathedral. A novena of prayer is also available for all those who want to link themselves through prayer to the consecration and to Fr Paul’s episcopal ministry within the Church. The novena will run from Wednesday 25 January (Feast of the Conversion of St Paul the Apostle) to Thursday 2 February (Feast of Candlemas).

We offer The Society prayer for the parishes, clergy and people of the See of Oswestry:


Heavenly Father,

bless the bishops, clergy and people of The Society.

Bind us together in love and faith.

Renew us in service and witness.

And by your Holy Spirit

Guide our future and make plain your purposes.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Saint Wilfrid, pray for us.

Saint Hilda, pray for us.



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield,

Chairman of The Society’s Council of Bishops



The Rt Revd Stephen Race, Bishop of Beverley



The Rt Revd Philip North, Bishop of Burnley



The Rt Revd Martin Warner, Bishop of Chichester



The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham



The Rt Revd Will Hazlewood, Bishop of Lewes



The Rt Revd Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough