October 15, 2021 12.35 pm

Zoom search begins for next Bishop of Lincoln

The current Bishop retires in December

The search has begun to find a successor for Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, who will retire from the role at the end of 2021 after a decade of service.

The process is likely to conclude in the summer of next year. Before then, the Archbishop of Canterbury will appoint an acting bishop to take the role until a permanent successor is found.

Bishop Lowson started his role in April 2011 after being ordained as a deacon in 1977 and a priest a year later. He has been an active member of the House of Lords since 2017, a membership that will cease once he retires as Bishop of Lincoln.

After announcing his retirement, Bishop Lowson said: “It has been a joy to accompany so many people on their journey of faith through baptism, confirmation and ordination.”

He was suspended from his role in May 2019 after an investigation into the handling of safeguarding issues at the Lincoln Diocese, with Bishop Lowson facing allegations that he did not adequately safeguard children and vulnerable people.

He accepted a misconduct penalty in February 2021 amid the conclusion of the police investigations, before returning to work to host his first sermon back on Easter Sunday.

Christopher’s ministry will be concluded with a period of study leave and retreat from October, with the intention of holding a farewell service at the cathedral in November. He will retire on December 31 this year, just a month short of his 69th birthday.

In retirement, Christopher will live in his flat in Victoria, London with his wife Susan, in order to live closer to their daughter and son-in-law, in south east London.

Christopher Lowson, pictured with his wife Susan, will be retiring from his Bishop of Lincoln role at the end of the year.

Finding the next Bishop of Lincoln

An invitation is being extended to people from within the Church of England and beyond to contribute their views in an online public meeting on what the next Bishop of Lincoln will need to bring to the role.

The Archbishops’ secretary for appointments and the Prime Minister’s appointments secretary will be present at the meeting at 7pm on Thursday, October 21 – people can register to join the Zoom webinar via this link.

There will also be consultations carried out in Lincoln with church members, leaders of other churches, and civic groups such as local government, education and charities.

The Crown Nominations Commission oversees the process and will, after careful consideration, offer a name to the Sovereign to appoint as the next Bishop of Lincoln.

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