New Bishop of Oxford to start in the autumn

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The new Bishop of Oxford is to be the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, it was announced this week. Bishop Steven succeeds the Rt Revd John Pritchard, who retired in October 2014 after seven years in post.

Bishop Steven, 58, is currently Bishop of Sheffield, a role he has held since 2009. He serves on the Archbishop’s Council and Chairs the Ministry Council of the Church of England. He has been a member of the House of Lords since 2013.

He has a passion for mission and evangelism and for finding creative ways of sharing the Gospel. He is the co-author of the Emmaus and Pilgrim courses, both of which are resources to help people engage with the Christian faith.

The Bishop of Oxford leads the Church of England in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Bishop Steven expects to take up office in the early autumn.

He said: ”I am looking forward enormously to a new challenge and new responsibility in the Diocese of Oxford and to working with the senior team and many others to serve the local communities and to build up the life of the Church. There are many signs of God’s grace at work across the Diocese and immense potential for the future.

“I would ask for the prayers of the Diocese in the coming weeks and months for all that lies ahead.”

The Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, who is serving as Acting Bishop of Oxford during the vacancy, said: “ As both a diocesan bishop and as a parish priest Steven has shown a passion for sharing the good news of Christ in both traditional and innovative ways.

“Link that to his wide experience of training men and women for a variety of ministries and you can understand there will be much rejoicing around the Diocese today. ”