Downing Street has today announced the appointment of two Area Bishops for the newly created Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.
The Revd Dr Toby Howarth, currently Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs to the Archbishop of Canterburyand National Inter Religious Affairs Adviser for the Church of England will be the Bishop of Bradford.
The Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs, currently Rector of Heswall in the Diocese of Chester, will be the first ever Bishop of Huddersfield. This is a new bishopric covering the local authority areas of Calderdale and Kirklees and is one of five areas in the diocese, which each have their own bishop.
Diocesan Bishop Nick Baines said: “I am delighted with these appointments which complete our team of bishops.
“They bring wide experience, great expertise and substantial gifts to our leadership and ministry as we build the new diocese.
“Both will bring important outside perspectives to this complex task and help bring bishops closer to the ground in parishes and local communities.
“Toby Howarth brings expertise in teaching, pastoral care, leadership and interfaith relations at parish, national and international level.
“This is an important appointment for the Church of England and for Bradford where he will serve as Area Bishop.
“Jonathan Gibbs brings to this new office wide experience at parish, diocesan, national and international level. He has been a committed parish priest and has served in a variety of contexts.
“His appointment is hugely welcome as he establishes the new episcopal area of Huddersfield.”
Toby Howarth and Jonathan Gibbs will both be consecrated as bishops in a service at York Minster on Friday October 17 at 11am, conducted by the Archbishop of York.