New Bishop Of Winchester Announced

6 September 2011, 12:59 | Updated: 6 September 2011, 13:02

The new Bishop of Winchester - one of the Church of England's most senior positions - has been announced by Downing Street as the Reverend Canon Timothy Dakin.

The Queen has approved the nomination of Canon Dakin who is General Secretary of the Church Mission Society, Associate Priest of Ruscombe and Twyford in the Oxford Diocese and Honorary Canon Theologian at Coventry Cathedral.

He will take over from the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, 67, who retired in May after 16 years in the position.

The bishopric is the fifth most senior in the church after Canterbury, York, London and Durham and comes with an automatic seat in the House of Lords.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "Canon Tim Dakin, 53, was born to missionary parents in Tanzania and grew up partly in East Africa and partly in vicarages in the UK.''

He will become the 97th to hold the office.

Revd Scott-Joynt was considered an outspoken conservative within the church who said in 2008 that the church's "acceptance of same sex relationships has undermined its integrity''.

He also said that some in society now view religion as "undesirable'' and do not want churchgoers to express their faith in public or at work.

In May last year, the former bishop came to the aid of a naked woman he found locked out of her room when drunk at the £130-a-night Park Inn Hotel in York by giving her his dressing gown.

He was staying at the hotel along with other bishops during a conference when he heard a commotion in the corridor outside his room.

Canon Dakin currently lives in Berkshire with his wife Sally, who is a midwife and also an associate priest, and their two children Anna, 20, and Johnny, 16.

He said: "To be asked to be Bishop of Winchester is an amazing privilege and presents me with a wonderful opportunity to serve in a new way. The appointment was a great surprise and I am both humbled and delighted.

"The Church of England is both fragile and robust. It's fragile because of all the change, yet it's strangely robust in the way we're imaginatively tackling new opportunities.

"As Christians, our greatest communication challenge is to show, by what we do and who we are, that our faith is not primarily about what we do in church buildings but about how we live day by day.

"I shall bring with me a passion for mission, and a longing to see the church grow and have an impact in daily life.''

Andrew Robinson, chief executive of the Diocese of Winchester, said: "I very much look forward to working with Tim. He will be joining the diocese at a time of great opportunity for growth and development.

"His skills demonstrated through his time at CMS mean he will be ideally suited to leading Winchester Diocese over the coming years.''

The Rt Revd Peter Hancock, the Bishop of Basingstoke who is the current caretaker of the Winchester position, said: "I am delighted that the Reverend Canon Tim Dakin is to be appointed as Bishop of Winchester.

"His contribution as a theologian, especially in the area of mission, has been widely recognised and I am sure he will help us to engage more effectively with the communities, parishes and people that we seek to serve.''