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Bishop to the Forces

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Anglican church in the British Armed Forces falls under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury; however, for all practical purposes the function is performed by the Bishop to the Forces. His full title is "The Archbishop of Canterbury's Episcopal Representative to the Armed Forces". The Bishop to the Forces is not a military chaplain.[1] The Bishop always sits in the Church's House of Bishops and (therefore) General Synod; from 2014 to 2021, this fact was utilised to give the Bishop at Lambeth (the Archbishop of Canterbury's episcopal chief of staff) a seat on both.

There is sometimes confusion between the (Anglican) "Bishop to the Forces" and the (Roman Catholic) "Bishop of the Forces": for this reason the latter is normally given his title in full, i.e. "The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces".[2]

List of bishops

Bishops to the Forces
From Until Incumbent Notes
1948 1956
Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley (cropped).jpg
Cuthbert Bardsley
Also Bishop of Croydon; later became Bishop of Coventry.
1956 1966
No image.svg
Stanley Betts
Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Dean of Rochester.
1966 1975
No image.svg
John Hughes
Also Bishop of Croydon.
1977 1984
No image.svg
Stuart Snell
Also Bishop of Croydon.
1985 1990
No image.svg
Ronald Gordon
Also Bishop at Lambeth.
1990 1992
No image.svg
David Smith
Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Bishop of Bradford.
1992 2001
Bishop John Kirkham (cropped).jpg
John Kirkham
Also Bishop of Sherborne.
2001 2009
Officers of the Order of the Garter (David Conner cropped).JPG
David Conner
Also Dean of Windsor.
2009 2014
Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover, at the Blessing of the Waters, Whitstable, 2006.jpg
Stephen Venner
Also Bishop of Dover and Bishop for the Falkland Islands.
9 July 2014 2017
No image.svg
Nigel Stock
Also Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands;[3] retired August 2017.[4]
6 September 2017 2021
Bishop at Lambeth at the 2019 Blessing the Thames Ceremony (cropped2).jpg
Tim Thornton
As Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands;[5] commissioned 6 September 2017.[6]
20 September 2021 present
No image.svg
Hugh Nelson
Also Bishop of St Germans; commissioned 20 September 2021[7]

See also


  1. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 2008/2009 (100th edition), Church House Publishing (ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0)
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "England: Archbishop Welby commissions new Bishop to the Forces". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  4. ^ Archbishop of Canterbury — Nigel Stock announces retirement as Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 17 March 2017)
  5. ^ Lambeth Palace — Tim Thornton announced as new Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 4 April 2017)
  6. ^ Lambeth Palace — Tim Thornton commissioned as new Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 9 September 2017)
  7. ^ "Bishop Hugh announced as Bishop to the Armed Forces". Truro Diocese. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.

This page was last edited on 23 February 2023, at 11:10
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