2 More Women for Episcopate

Adapted from announcements by 10 Downing Street, the Diocese of Gloucester, and the Diocese of York

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Ven. Rachel Treweek, Archdeacon of Hackney, for election as Bishop of Gloucester in succession to the Rt. Rev. Michael Francis Perham.

The Ven. Rachel Treweek, age 52, studied at Reading University and trained for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. She served her first curacy at St. George and All Saints, Tufnell Park in the Diocese of London, from 1994 to 1997 and was Associate Vicar from 1997 to 1999.

From 1999 to 2006 she was vicar at St. James the Less, Bethnal Green and continuing ministerial education officer for the Stepney Episcopal Area. From 2006 to 2011 she was Archdeacon of Northolt in the Diocese of London. Since 2011 she has been Archdeacon of Hackney. In 2013 she was elected as participant observer in the House of Bishops for the South East Region.

Her husband, Guy Treweek, is priest-in-charge of two parishes in the City of London. Her interests include conflict transformation, walking, and canoeing.

Archdeacon Treweek said:

It is an immense joy and privilege to be appointed as the Bishop of Gloucester. I am surprised and, I have to admit, even a little daunted by the prospect, but my overwhelming feeling is one of excitement to be coming to join with others in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of this diocese.

I am looking forward to encouraging Christians to speak out with confidence about their faith and the good news that the Gospel brings. It will be my privilege to work with churches as we connect with people, wherever they are and whatever their concerns.

My calling to the role of bishop has been shaped by human encounter. I believe profoundly that relationship is at the heart of who God is. I have been with people through the joys and pains of their lives and it is these experiences that I will reflect upon as I take up this new role.

On Wednesday the Prime Minister’s office announced the appointment of Rev. Canon Alison White, Priest-in-Charge of St James’ Church, Riding Mill in the diocese of York and Diocesan Adviser for Spirituality and Spiritual Direction in the Diocese of York, in succession to the Rt. Rev. Richard Michael Cokayne Frith, on his translation to the See of Hereford.

Canon White, 58, studied first at St Aidan’s College, Durham and then at Leeds University. She trained for the ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. She served her curacy at Chester-le-Street in the Diocese of Durham from 1986 to 1989.

From 1989 to 1993 she was diocesan advisor in local mission and honorary parish deacon at Birtley. From 1993 to 1998 she was director of mission and pastoral studies at Cranmer Hall, Durham. From 1998 to 2000 she was director of ordinands in the Diocese of Durham. From 2000 to 2004 she was a Springboard missioner. From 2005 to 2010 she was an adult education officer in Peterborough Diocese, where from 2009 to 2010 she was also honorary canon at Peterborough Cathedral.

Alison White is married to Frank, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Newcastle. They have family in England and South Africa. Alison has an interest in literature and the arts, enjoys the theatre and is an avid reader. She likes to travel and be in the company of good friends. She enjoys the outdoors, walks and gardening. She is a school governor.

Canon White said:

This is an adventure I had never imagined setting out on!

My experience of life and ministry is that it is full of God’s surprises, and this is certainly the greatest. When I first suspected that God might have designs on my life I did all that I could to find reasons to escape. I have learnt over time that this God who made us, knows us, and loves us gives us good gifts. I have found that it is easy to see the gifts and potential in others and often much harder to see them in ourselves. So I am trusting the discernment of all those who are responsible for bringing me to this day.

My own experience is that discovering personally and together what we are for and about unfolds over time. The Church is no different in that. This call to be Bishop of Hull comes to me at a creative time in the Church’s life. There are all kinds of possibilities and challenges locally and nationally. I believe we need to make the most of everyone’s contribution to God’s project of human flourishing. I take inspiration from Jesus always coming to share our lives, whatever is going on. I trust that I may be able to follow his example.

I am really excited about coming to this part of the world with all your stories and characters. It is such a good time to be part of what is happening in Hull and the East Riding and across the Diocese of York. The great thing about the Church of England is that we are part of the gospel being around in every community, made real in us ordinary people. I want to be part of that and to give confidence that we have something vital to contribute wherever we live. The video made for the Hull City of Culture bid has a great phrase I want to borrow: “We’ve found our voice again.” And I believe we have something worth saying.

I love working with other people and it is great to know that I am coming to be part of a dynamic team. I look forward to bringing what I can from my own experience and gifts to add to that mix. I have prayed in the York Diocese and for it over some time now and it gives me great joy now to find that I am called to come and pray with you as I trust you will pray for me and with me.

You may have noticed that I am married to a Bishop. This may seem excessive! You would think that one in a family is more than enough. Believe me, this has crossed our minds. Actually, I am married to Frank and that is gift. Both our lives have been made rich by this vocation to marriage which we have been working on together with joy for over thirty years. Our vocations in ordained ministry have always been distinct; we are, after all, different people with different gifts. But we have found that in God’s wisdom that all of this seems to work out together for good.

And this is a good day for me — a day to celebrate the surprises and goodness of God which are being made flesh and blood in the people who live and work in the Diocese of York of which I am honoured to be a part.

Image of Bishop Frank and Canon Alison White courtesy of the Diocese of York

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