Ex-postman is appointed Bishop of Bradford

The Revd Dr Toby Howarth (left) and the new Bishop of Huddersfield, the Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs

The Revd Dr Toby Howarth (left) and the new Bishop of Huddersfield, the Revd Dr Jonathan Gibbs

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A FORMER postman who became an aide to the Archbishop of Canterbury has been appointed the new Bishop of Bradford.

Reverend Dr Toby Howarth, currently secretary for inter religious affairs to the Archbishop of Canerbury, takes up the Area Bishop position following the creation of the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.

Reverend Dr Jonathan Gibbs, currently Rector of Heswall in the Diocese of Chester, will be the first ever Bishop of Huddersfield.

This is a new bishopric covering the local authority areas of Calderdale and Kirklees and is one of five areas in the diocese, which each have their own bishop.

The bishops are being introduced today by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, at Leeds train station from where they will go by train to meet people in their respective areas.

Bishop Baines said: “I am delighted with these appointments which complete our team of bishops. They bring wide experience, great expertise and substantial gifts to our leadership and ministry as we build the new diocese. Both will bring important outside perspectives to this complex task and help bring bishops closer to the ground in parishes and local communities.”

“Toby Howarth brings expertise in teaching, pastoral care, leadership and interfaith relations at parish, national and international level. This is an important appointment for the Church of England and for Bradford where he will serve as Area Bishop.

“Jonathan Gibbs brings to this new office wide experience at parish, diocesan, national and international level. He has been a committed parish priest and has served in a variety of contexts. His appointment is hugely welcome as he establishes the new episcopal area of Huddersfield.”

Toby Howarth and Jonathan Gibbs will both be consecrated as bishops in a service at York Minster on Friday October 17.

Reverend Canon Dr Toby Howarth, 52, has served as a parish priest, taught and studied in several areas with a variety of different faiths and cultures before working with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England nationally in inter faith relations.

After graduating from Yale University in the US, Toby returned to the UK to work as a research assistant and postman before training for ordination in Birmingham, Oxford and Uganda.

Reverend Dr Jonathan Gibbs, 53, has an MA in Philosophy and Politics from Jesus College, Oxford.

He is a member of the Campaign for Real Ale and is the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

He is fluent in German, Swiss-German and French.

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