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Christopher Chessun

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christopher Chessun
Bishop of Southwark
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Southwark (cropped).jpg
The Lord Bishop of Southwark, 2019
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Southwark
In office2011–present
PredecessorTom Butler
Other post(s)Bishop for Urban Life and Faith (2009–present)
area Bishop of Woolwich (2005–2011)
Ordination3 July 1983 (deacon)
by Conrad Meyer
1 July 1984 (priest)
by Patrick Rodger
Consecration21 April 2005
by Rowan Williams
Personal details
Born (1956-08-05) 5 August 1956 (age 65)
Hampton, Middlesex, United Kingdom
ResidenceBishop's House, Streatham
Alma materUniversity College, Oxford

Christopher Thomas James Chessun (born 5 August 1956) is a British Anglican bishop. Since 2011, he has been Bishop of Southwark in the Church of England.[1]

Early life and education

Chessun is a twin and was born on 5 August 1956.[2] He was educated at Hampton School, an all-boys independent school in London.[3] He studied modern history at University College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1978: as per tradition, his BA was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) degree in 1982.[2] He trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge, while also studying theology at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.[4]

Ordained ministry

Made a deacon at Petertide 1983 (3 July) by Conrad Meyer, Bishop of Dorchester, at Dorchester Abbey[5] and ordained a priest the following Petertide (1 July 1984) by Patrick Rodger, Bishop of Oxford, at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford,[6] he served curacies at St Michael and All Angels Sandhurst and St Mary's Portsea[7] and was then successively a chaplain at St Paul's Cathedral, London, rector of St Dunstan's, Stepney, Archdeacon of Northolt (2001–2005).

Episcopal ministry

In 2005, he was appointed Bishop of Woolwich, an area bishop of the Diocese of Southwark. He was consecrated a bishop on 21 April 2005.[8] He is a passionate advocate of overseas church links.[9]

Having served as an area bishop for over five years, his appointment as Bishop of Southwark was confirmed before a congregation at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside on 17 January 2011.[10] His enthronement at Southwark Cathedral took place on 6 March 2011.[10]

In March 2011 he began public ministry as the 10th Bishop of Southwark. He is a strong advocate for the parish system as the most effective means of church presence and engagement in the life of local communities, including the need to proclaim the Gospel afresh amid the rapid changes in church and community life. As Bishop of Southwark, his residence is Bishop's House, Streatham.[4]

Chessun is also the lead Bishop for Urban Life and Faith for the Church of England. This offers him an opportunity to contribute to debates and discussions on the importance of the churches' contribution to urban and public policy within society. In 2012, a number of Evangelicals criticised him for the appointment of Liberal Catholics to his leadership team.[11]

In May 2011, the Church of England declared that three members of the diocese participating in the Anglican Mission in England, ordained in Kenya, were in an impaired state of communion with Chessun due to a conflict of views on homosexuality. These "irregular" clergy would have to seek other bishops to ordain their candidates. His views are similar to those of his predecessor, Tom Butler,[12] who appointed Chessun as Bishop of Woolwich.



  1. ^ "Tenth Bishop of Southwark is Announced". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Southwark, Bishop of, (Rt Rev. Christopher Thomas James Chessun)". Who's Who 2020. Oxford University Press. 1 December 2019. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U42116.
  3. ^ "Chessun, Christopher Thomas James". Who's Who. Vol. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 10 June 2017. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b "Christopher Thomas James Chessun". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Ordinations". Church Times. No. 6282. 8 July 1983. p. 15. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  6. ^ "Petertide ordinations". Church Times. No. 6334. 6 July 1984. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  7. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, Debrett's, 2008 ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
  8. ^ "(picture caption)". Church Times. No. 7402. 21 January 2005. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  9. ^ Diocese of Southwark — Bishops' biographical notes (Accessed 10 June 2017)
  10. ^ a b "Election confirmed of Tenth Bishop of Southwark". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Evangelicals in Uproar Over Southwark Liberal Appointments". Anglican Mainstream. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  12. ^ "Co-Mission – Reaching London for Christ". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  13. ^ "New Bishop of Woolwich". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 4 February 2005.
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Woolwich
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Southwark
This page was last edited on 4 February 2022, at 13:31
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