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Jo Bailey Wells Now Communion’s Deputy Secretary General

Adapted from Anglican Communion News Service

Her title has changed again, but the Rt. Rev. Dr. Jo Bailey Wells will keep engaging with other bishops across the world as she oversees how dioceses act on the 10 calls approved by the Lambeth Conference.

Bishop Wells is now deputy secretary general of the Anglican Communion. Her appointment was announced by Bishop Anthony Poggo, who has served as secretary general for just over a year.

Wells was ordained in the Church of England as deacon in 1995, priest in 1996, and bishop in 2016. She has served as Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, and held teaching roles at the University of Cambridge, at Ridley Hall in Cambridge, and at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina. At Duke she also founded the Anglican/Episcopal House of Studies.

Her husband, the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, is vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Beginning in 2013, she was chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury and was instrumental in founding the Community of St. Anselm. She moved to the Diocese of Guildford as Bishop of Dorking in 2016. In January 2023 she took up her role as Bishop for Episcopal Ministry in the Anglican Communion.

In her new role, Wells will assist in leading the work of the Anglican Communion Office in collaboration with the secretary general, and will oversee episcopal ministry development and Phase Three of the Lambeth Conference.

“Bishop Jo plays an important role in the life of the Anglican Communion Office and the wider Anglican Communion,” Poggo said in announcing her new role. “As my deputy, she will play an increased role of the leadership in the secretariat while continuing to develop connections between bishops around the world. I am very grateful to Bishop Jo for accepting the invitation to step into this new role. Her leadership will be vital as I step up my own engagement with our member churches.”

Bishop Wells said “it’s been all joy” serving with Poggo “since I came to the Anglican Communion Office last January for Phase Three of the Lambeth Conference journey. I’ve been working with bishops all over the world as we continue to confer. I have particularly enjoyed helping to induct new bishops. I am hugely honored now to be invited to serve as Deputy Secretary General.

“The global Communion has ever been at the heart of my commitment within the body of Christ. Though my faith was nurtured in the Church of England, it was in Uganda that I came to understand Anglicanism, and it was during my first spell in the United States that I discovered the call to ordination. Over the years I have also served, more briefly, in other countries and provinces, from Haiti to South Sudan to Australia — where I have relished the way Jesus finds expression in different contexts and cultures.”


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