The Bishop of Horsham, The Right Reverend Mark Sowerby, has been appointed as the new Principal of the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield.
Bishop Sowerby, who has been a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Chichester since 2009, will be returning as Principal to the College where he was a student.
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, wished Bishop Mark well today following news of his new post: “Bishop Mark’s appointment as Principal of the College of the Resurrection at Mirfield will return him to the north, to a place that was formative in his own life.
“From the moment of his arrival in the diocese of Chichester, Bishop Mark has been involved in challenging circumstances that have concerned safeguarding. His attention to detail and process has won widespread recognition and respect, locally and at national level.
“In this, as in the pastoral and teaching office of a bishop, he has been a consistently cheerful and encouraging presence and more recently adding to his commitments a lively interest in our Church schools.
“He and his wife, Ruth, will take with them the affection, prayers and gratitude of people across the diocese of Chichester where he has served as bishop of Horsham for the past 10 years."
Bishop Mark also reflected on his time in Sussex. “The invitation to come to Sussex in 2009 was a big surprise to our family but one we have never regretted. We northern newcomers were made warmly welcome and leaving behind so many people we have come to love and respect is going to be very hard.
“It has been a great privilege to be Bishop of Horsham and I have hugely enjoyed working in West Sussex over the past ten years. There have been particular joys such as our links with the church in Africa and more recently working with the Diocesan Board of Education and our many schools.
“Throughout my ten years in Sussex, I have especially enjoyed time spent in parishes. It has been a huge privilege to confirm adults and young people and to encourage them to explore their individual vocations and I shall always be thankful to God for the faithful clergy and people of Sussex in whose mission, for a time, I have had a share.”
A farewell service for Bishop Mark, his wife and family, will be held in the summer and further details will be available shortly.
Here is a copy of the Media Release issued by the Community of the Resurrection, Mirfield, today.
Former student returns as Principal.
Bishop Mark Sowerby is to be the next Principal of the College of the Resurrection in succession to Fr Peter Allan CR, who will retire at the end of the academic year. With his wife, Ruth, he will move to Mirfield from the Diocese of Chichester, where he has been Bishop of Horsham since 2009.
Bishop Mark, who has three adult daughters, is no stranger to the north nor, indeed, to Mirfield. Born in Ripon, he trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, served his first curacy in Knaresborough, and after several years in the Blackburn Diocese, spent eight years at St Wilfrid’s, Harrogate. From 1997-2001, Bishop Mark served as the Church of England’s Vocations Officer and as a Selection Secretary for the Ministry Division. More recently he has chaired the national Safeguarding Training Working Group.
Speaking of the appointment, the Chairman of the College Council, Bishop David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester, said, “I am delighted that Bishop Mark has accepted this position. He brings to us a depth of experience as a senior leader in the Church, a passion for the training and flourishing of our clergy, and the ability to respond to opportunities and challenges with both warmth and determination.”
Fr Oswin Gartside CR, Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, said, “This is very good news indeed; we are very much looking forward to welcoming Bishop Mark and Ruth to the College. Bishop Mark knows what the contemporary church needs from its clergy. He also knows the Community at Mirfield and the College very well: he will be able to provide continuity in all the right places at a time of necessary change. The College is in good heart and now, building on the firm foundation laid by Fr Peter, we are looking forward to seeing it develop and thrive under Bishop Mark’s leadership. The coming year will be a stimulating time to be an ordinand at Mirfield.”
Bishop Mark said, “I have known the College of the Resurrection for well over 30 years and I am greatly looking forward to playing a part in the formation of outstanding men and women to serve God’s church. Ruth and I are very happy to be returning to Yorkshire and sharing in the life of College and Community.”