Bishop of Wakefield will return to his roots after diocese dissolved

The Bishop of Wakefield will return to his roots and take on an historic London parish church after the Diocese of Wakefield is dissolved to create a new super diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales.

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, has just announced the appointment of The Rt Revd Stephen Platten as the new Rector of St Michael’s Cornhill church and an honorary assistant Bishop in the Diocese of London.

 Stephen will take up the position at St Michael’s in July 2014. This is in addition to his new position as chair of the Hymns Ancient and Modern charitable trust which he will assume at the end of January.

The three dioceses of Wakefield, Bradford, Ripon and Leeds will be formerly dissolved on Easter Day 2014 to make way for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales and a series of services and celebrations are being organized to mark the end of Wakefield diocese.

The Rt Revd Stephen Platten,  said: “Eleven years is the longest I have ever served in one place and one puts down real roots so I shall be sad to say farewell to so many people and friendships in and well beyond the Church of England.

“I shall also miss all those familiar and beautiful views in the landscape of such a fascinating diocese - thanks to all who have given me so much!”

Taking up the post at St Michael’s will see a return to Stephen’s roots. He was born in London and educated at the Stationers’ Company’s School in Hornsey and the University of London before attending Cuddesdon Theological College and Trinity College, Oxford.

Stephen worked for Shell before ordination and served as a priest in Oxford, Lincoln and Portsmouth, including as Tutor of Ethics and Chaplain at Lincoln Theological College, before becoming the then Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs in 1990.  In 1995, he became Dean of Norwich and was enthroned as the Bishop of Wakefield in July 2003.

He will join the medieval parish church of St Michael’s Cornhill in the City of London in summer and intends to continue his international links including the chair of governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the lead bishop on Georgia.

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