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John Pritchard (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Pritchard
Bishop of Oxford
John Pritchard 2007 St Giles Fair (cropped).jpg
Pritchard at the 2007 St Giles' Fair, Oxford
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Oxford
In office2007 – 31 October 2014 (retired)[1]
PredecessorRichard Harries
SuccessorSteven Croft
Other postsBishop of Jarrow
Ordination1972 (deacon)
1973 (priest)
ConsecrationJanuary 2002
by David Hope
Personal details
Born (1948-04-22) 22 April 1948 (age 73)
Salford, Lancashire, United Kingdom
ResidenceRichmond, North Yorkshire
ParentsNeil Pritchard & Winifred Savill[2]
SpouseWendy Claridge[3]
Children2 daughters; Amanda and Nicola[3]
Alma materSt Peter's College, Oxford

John Lawrence Pritchard (born 22 April 1948) is a Church of England bishop. He was the Bishop of Oxford from 2007 to 2014. He is in the Open Evangelical tradition.

Early life

Pritchard was born in Salford, Lancashire.[4] He was educated at Arnold School, then an all-boys direct grant grammar school in Blackpool, Lancashire.[2] He studied law at St Peter's College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1970; as per tradition, his BA was promoted to an Oxford Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1973.[5]

In 1970, Pritchard entered Ridley Hall, Cambridge, an Anglican theological college.[5] He then studied theology and trained for ordination for the next two years. In 1972, he received a Certificate in Pastoral Theology.[2]

Ordained ministry

Pritchard was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1972 and as a priest in 1973.[5] From 1972 to 1976 he served as a curate at St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham and, from 1976 to 1980, he was Youth Chaplain and Assistant Director of Education in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. In 1980 he became priest in charge of Wilton, Taunton. From 1988 he was Director of Pastoral Studies at Cranmer Hall, Durham and, from 1993, the college's warden. In 1996, he became Archdeacon of Canterbury and a canon residentiary of Canterbury Cathedral.

Episcopal ministry

In January 2002, Pritchard was consecrated as a bishop by David Hope, the Archbishop of York.[3] Then, from 2002 to 2007, he served as the Bishop of Jarrow, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Durham.[5]

On 11 December 2006 it was announced that Pritchard would become the 42nd Bishop of Oxford. Having taken office at his confirmation-of-election in London on 23 March 2007, he began his ministry in the diocese on 8 June 2007 after a service of inauguration at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.[6] In 2008, he supported the application by Muslims in Oxford to broadcast the adhan from the minaret of a mosque. As a result, he received hostile comments and letters of complaint.[7][8][9]

John Pritchard retired as Bishop of Oxford on 31 October 2014.[10] In 2015, he was appointed an honorary assistant bishop of the Diocese of Durham.

On 11 February 2017, Pritchard was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practises around sexuality.[11] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[12] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[13]

Personal life

Pritchard is married to Wendy and has two daughters, Amanda and Nicola. Following retirement Pritchard and his wife live in Richmond, North Yorkshire.[3]



  • Practical Theology in Action, SPCK (1996), ISBN 0-281-05012-0
  • The Intercessions Handbook, SPCK (1997), ISBN 0-281-04979-3
  • Beginning Again, SPCK (2000), ISBN 0-281-05265-4
  • Living the Gospel Stories Today, SPCK (2001), ISBN 0-281-05365-0
  • How to Pray, SPCK (2002), ISBN 0-281-05454-1
  • The Second Intercessions Handbook, SPCK (2004), ISBN 0-281-05649-8
  • Living Easter Through the Year, SPCK (2005), ISBN 0-281-05709-5
  • How to Explain Your Faith, SPCK (2006), ISBN 0-8146-3178-9
  • The Life and Work of a Priest, SPCK (2007) ISBN 0-281-05748-6
  • Going to Church, SPCK (2009) ISBN 978-0-281-05810-5
  • God Lost and Found, SPCK (2011) ISBN 978-0-281-06352-9
  • Why Christianity Makes Sense, SPCK (2014) ISBN 978-0-281-06764-0, eBook ISBN 978-0-281-06765-7


  1. ^ Diocese of Oxford – Bishop John lays down his staff (Accessed 1 November 2014)
  2. ^ a b c ‘OXFORD, Bishop of’, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2011 Accessed 8 May 2012
  3. ^ a b c d Diocese of Oxford — Bishops and Archdeacons
  4. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, 22 April 2014
  5. ^ a b c d "John Lawrence Pritchard". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  6. ^ Bishopric of Oxford Archived 2007-10-29 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bates, Stephen (13 March 2008). "People". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  8. ^ "Bishop's death threats over mosque plan". The Daily Telegraph. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
  9. ^ "Bishop receives death threats for backing Muslim prayer call". Islamic Republic News Agency. 11 March 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2008-03-13.
  10. ^ "Bishop of Oxford to retire after seven years". BBC. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  11. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter Archived 2017-02-12 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Laurie Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Stephen Platten, Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  12. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures Archived 2017-02-18 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  13. ^ The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ian Cundy
Warden of Cranmer Hall
Succeeded by
Steven Croft
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Michael Till
Archdeacon of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Patrick Evans
Preceded by
Alan Smithson
Bishop of Jarrow
Succeeded by
Mark Bryant
Preceded by
Richard Harries
Bishop of Oxford
Succeeded by
Steven Croft
This page was last edited on 5 March 2021, at 11:41
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