New Bishop of Doncaster Announced

10 Downing Street has announced this morning that The Venerable Peter Burrows, 56, currently Archdeacon of Leeds in the Diocese of Ripon & Leeds, is to be the new Bishop of Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield.


The new Bishop will appear as bishop-designate for the first time this morning at Sheffield Cathedral (11am) and then Doncaster Minster (12.50pm).


He succeeds The Rt Revd Cyril Ashton, who retired this summer.


Born in Derby, Peter is married to Jane and they have two grown up children, Adam and Amie.


The Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft, today welcomed the appointment on behalf of his Diocese: “I am absolutely delighted at Peter's appointment as Bishop of Doncaster. He brings proven commitment to mission of all kinds, rich experience of the world of education, a strong track record of encouraging vocations and building confidence and capacity in God's church and in our wider society. We look forward to welcoming both Peter and Jane to the Diocese in the new year.”


The Archdeacon of Doncaster, The Venerable Bob Fitzharris, said today: “I have known Peter for several years as a respected colleague and I am very excited for the Diocese of Sheffield at the prospect of his becoming the next Bishop of Doncaster. Peter will bring experience, wisdom and gentle humour with him, all of it under girded by a deep love of God and neighbour.”


The new Bishop will have a diocesan wide episcopal ministry. Archdeacon Burrows brings wide experience of ministry, vocations, training and education. He will be the sponsoring bishop for ordination in the Diocese and will take the lead on education.


He began his ministry in West Yorkshire and returned to it as archdeacon. This will be his first experience of working in the south and east of the County but he is already relishing the task.


He said today: “I am very positive and excited by the developing diocesan vision for growth and the development of lay and ordained ministries that are able to respond to the changing demands and opportunities of our communities. I have a real passion for enabling the church, at all levels, to engage with those parts of society that we have little contact with or perhaps feel uncomfortable around. I hope that my previous experiences will make a valuable contribution to the Diocese and I look forward to getting to know the people of South and East Yorkshire and the wider diocese better over the next few months and to working with Bishop Steven.”


Archdeacon Burrows trained for the priesthood at Sarum & Wells Theological College from where he was ordained deacon (1983) and then priest (1984) in Bradford Cathedral. He served his first post as Curate of Baildon on the outskirts of Bradford.


He went straight to being Rector of Broughton Astley in the Diocese of Leicester where he served for 8 years from 1987 after which he continued in the area as Team Rector of a larger group of parishes until 2000. For six years of this time (between 1994-2000) he was also Rural Dean of Guthlaxton.


Overlapping his time as Team Rector, Peter took responsibility for all vocations in the Leicester Diocese, becoming Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Warden of Readers from 1997-2003. He was also a member of the Quality and Formation Panel as an Inspector of Theological Colleges.


After leaving his parishes in 2000 he was also Parish Development Officer alongside being responsible for vocations, mission development and chairing the Diocesan Ministry Committee. From 2003 to 2005 he was, in addition, Director of Ministry. Between 1998 and 2005 he was an Honorary Canon of Leicester Cathedral.


It was from there that he was appointed as the next Archdeacon of Leeds in 2005. In Leeds he has also chaired the Diocesan Ministry and Training Development Group, and worked as a member of the Board of Education and Council for Mission. He has also focussed on finding funding and setting up three new pioneer ministries in the city including one to the late night community a characteristic of many British towns and cities.


“During my time in Leeds I have worked hard with colleagues at all levels of parish and diocesan life to help parishes focus on mission development, Pioneer ministries and Fresh Expressions. I am a great believer in the development of lay ministry alongside increasingly diverse models of ordained and pioneer ministry,” he said today.


He has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of England representing the House of Clergy in both the Leicester and Ripon & Leeds’ dioceses and is a Bishop’s Adviser for Selection & Training. This has involved him spending time assisting people to discern whether or not they have a vocation to ordained  ministry in the Church of England.


Liz Paver, Chair of the House of Laity, said today: “On behalf of the Laity of the Diocese may I offer a very warm welcome to the new Bishop of Doncaster. His long experience of ministry in the Northern Province, his empathy with all churchmanship and his commitment to education and lifelong learning will enable him to fully support our endeavours to grow the Kingdom of God in all our parishes.”


Ian Smith, Chair of House of Clergy, said today: “An exceptional man has emerged from the process of finding a new Bishop of Doncaster. His track record and personality will give him both credibility at all levels and win many friends in church and community.”


Peter said that he relaxes by doing many of the things which everyone enjoys (reading, walking etc) but he would count cooking Indian food and hospitality and Motor Racing amongst his favourite interests and he likes to watch the odd game of Rugby League. He also enjoys city breaks, exploring new cities and enjoying their culture and history.


The Archdeacon will be consecrated as a Bishop in York Minster on 2 February and welcome services are being planned in Sheffield Cathedral (5 February) and in Doncaster Minster (11 February).


See here for a profile of the new Bishop of Doncaster

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