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Next Bishop of Guildford announced

Date: 29 September 2014
DOWNING STREET HAS ANNOUNCED today that the Bishop of Aston, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, will be the next Bishop of Guildford.
  • Bp Andrew Watson is currently Bishop of Aston
  • Announcement by Downing Street was at 10am
  • Visits to Farnborough, Dorking and Guildford planned for announcement day
  • February installation likely in Guildford Cathedral
  • All invited to Cathedral Evensong at 5.30pm

Bishop Andrew (53), who will be the tenth Bishop of Guildford, is spending the day meeting staff, clergy, residents, teachers and pupils across the diocese, before everyone is invited to join him and his wife Beverly for Evensong at Guildford Cathedral, 5.30pm September 26.

Video: Bishop Andrew Watson on his appointment

Bishop Andrew said: “It is both exciting and deeply humbling to be invited to serve the people of Surrey and North East Hampshire, and to lead the Church of England in mission across the Guildford Diocese.

“Although I don’t know the area covered by the diocese that well, having spent much of my childhood in Winchester and served most of my ministry in West London, I’ve come to appreciate some of the county’s beauty spots over the years – Hindhead Commons and Box Hill in particular.

“But the churches’ commitment to food banks, street pastoring, credit unions and relationship counselling reminds us that there’s another side to life in the region. In fact it’s often hardest to be struggling when others around us seem to have it easy.

“My greatest joy as a bishop is seeing the Living God at work, transforming the lives of individuals and communities, and harnessing the extraordinary potential of adults, young people and children alike. Prayerfully developing a climate in which that potential is both recognised and released seems to me at the heart of the task of leadership for parents, teachers, vicars and bishops; in fact for all leaders everywhere. And the Diocese of Guildford is clearly stuffed full of potential.

Within the Diocese of Birmingham Bishop Andrew has taken a lead on helping churches transform lives and communities and on encouraging younger people to explore faith in Christ. He also has a strong global interest, chairing the national Panel for World Mission and the Anglican Communion drawing together views from Anglican churches and mission agencies worldwide.

I'd like to be an ‘Amateur’

“I guess my prayer as we prepare to move from the West Midlands is not so much that I would shine as a bishop, but more that I would enable others to shine. I’d like to be known as an ‘amateur’ in ministry as much as a ‘professional’, because an amateur is literally someone who loves, and love (that powerful combination of grace and truth) is at the heart of it all.”

As well as attending Evensong in Guildford, Bishop Andrew and Beverly will visit the Church of the Good Shepherd, Farnborough, to meet representatives from the church’s innovative community projects as well as meeting with staff and students in the RE department at the Priory CofE School, Dorking.

Follow Bishop Andrew on @BishopofAston comment on the story using #BishopGuildford

A prayer for Bishop Andrew

(Listen to Bishop Ian read this prayer)

Heavenly Father,
We thank you for the gift of our new Diocesan Bishop, Andrew Watson.
We ask you now to guide and strengthen him with your Holy Spirit,
as he prepares for the move from Birmingham to Guildford.
Help us to prepare for his coming among us with open hearts
and a ready will to work together for the good of your Kingdom.
Bless him, his wife Beverley and their family.
May we welcome them and support them daily in prayer.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son,
who is our Chief Pastor and Lord.

Audio: Who is Bishop Andrew Watson, and what happens next?

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