The Right Reverend Nicholas Baines, Area Bishop of Croydon, has been appointed the next Bishop of Bradford. Baines keeps the blog Northern Lights, where he says:
It has been announced by 10 Downing Street this morning (15 minutes earlier than planned!) that I am to be the next Bishop of Bradford. We’re heading back north. Given the way these things work, it isn’t possible to say when we will move or when I’ll start officially, but my feet will be under the table by spring or early summer. I think.
The Diocese of Bradford faces an uncertain few years following the report by the Dioceses Commission last week which proposed radical reform of the dioceses in West and North West Yorkshire...
...The next few years will bring great challenges: economically, politically and culturally. I hope to encourage confidence in the Christian Church, the unique and particular role of the Church of England and the development of sensitive ministry and outreach in a multifaith context. The task of communicating and living the Good News is great – but so are the opportunities.
Urban and rural communities face different challenges and I look forward to getting to know the whole diocese as quickly as possible. The unique interfaith relationships in this part of Yorkshire are vital to a flourishing society and I will engage fully in developing them for the ‘Common Good’. I am committed to focusing on the Church as the servant of the Kingdom of God – a church with the vision and courage to shape its future in this wonderful part of the world.
The announcement from 10 Downing Street says:
...Baines (aged 53) studied Modern Languages at the University of Bradford, worked as a linguist specialist at GCHQ, Cheltenham, and trained for ordination at Trinity College Bristol. From 1980 to 1984 he was a linguist specialist at GCHQ, Cheltenham. He was ordained Deacon in 1987 and Priest in 1988. From 1987 to 1991 he served as assistant curate at St Thomas Kendal and from 1991 to 1992 as assistant priest at Holy Trinity with Saint John, Leicester. In 1992 he was appointed Vicar of St Mary and Saint John, Rothley in Leicester Diocese where he remained until 2000 when he became Archdeacon of Lambeth. He was appointed Area Bishop of Croydon in 2003. He was a Member of the General Synod from 1995 -2005 and was a Director of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group from 2002 -2010. A regular broadcaster, he also chairs the Sandford St Martin Trust. He is the Anglican Co-chair of the Meissen Commission and represents the Archbishop of Canterbury at global interfaith conferences. He has written six books and writes a popular blog.
He is married to Linda and they have three adult children and a very young grandson. His interests include the shaping of the church to face the challenges and opportunities of the twenty first century, particularly engagement with people outside the church. Other interests include reading, music and sport (particularly Liverpool FC).
Simon Sarmiento has more at Thinking Anglicans.
Some believe that this appointment is a step towards selection as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Rumors aside, the significance of this appointment is that Baines is an evangelical-leaning, broad church bishop who understands communications and the modern secularized culture and inter-faith world that the Church lives in today. Besides being a writer and popular broadcaster, he is a well-known blogging bishop, and uses twitter and social networking effectively.