Skip to content

Fr Chris Bishop appointed to new role in Hatfield

Fr Chris Bishop is taking on a new role in the Diocese of Sheffield as he prepares to become Priest in Charge and Oversight Minister of the Benefice of Hatfield, St Lawrence.

Currently serving as Assistant Curate of St Peter’s Warmsworth, Chris will be licensed to his new position in the coming months. Chris is following in the footsteps of the Revd Liz Turner-Loisel, who retired in September last year. The team at Hatfield have been working hard continuing the mission and ministry of the church in that time.

Chris will be joined by his wife Joy, along with their children Theodore, Lazarus, Talitha and Judah. The work already taking place is one of the things which drew Chris to the role, who says:

“I’m absolutely delighted and overjoyed to be making the move. There’s a fab team there already, especially the children’s and families ministry. There’s a fantastic Centenary Project worker in place (Rachel Ridler), and having been a CP worker myself I really understand the sort of work she’s doing and the impact it has.

“I really felt called to stay in this diocese and to serve here, because I’m truly excited about the vision and strategy. I’ve seen it implemented well in the place I already serve and have seen the substantial fruits of that – especially enabling others and growing leaders. Hatfield just seemed to be a genuinely wonderful fit. It’s a place that is ready for revitalisation and there’s a really excellent core team in place; they want to see the church thrive and flourish.”

Chris has already been to visit the church and has taken part in leading services. In the Mission Area, Fr Chris will be an Oversight Minister along with the Revd Jacqui Jones and the Revd Tim Mitchell.

The history of the church at Hatfield dates to around 1150 and includes The Millennium Window, featuring significant events and people from the last 1,000 years.

Chris highlights how Hatfield is rooted in the community, with its church ministry seeing regular baptisms of around 60 a year, with a similar number of funerals and a busy Summer period for weddings.

The presence of a church school in Hatfield has been another bonus to the move to the new role, with Chris saying:

“I’ve got four children, so having somewhere I could be confident my children would be able to grow in their faith was certainly attractive to me as a priest and as a dad. You’ve got the church and the school right at the heart of the community, there’s so much potential here for mission and outreach.

“Hatfield is a huge parish and the population is pushing up to around 20,000. The Benefice of Hatfield extends into Dunscroft and Dunsville, and my hope is that we can be equipped to reach out and meet the spiritual and material needs of all margins of the community. There’s a huge new development, ‘Unity’, which is in the early stages of being built and that’s going to consist of 3,000 houses. This is 3,000 new people and families that we’ll hopefully be able to reach out to and share the good news with.”

Part of plans going forward are to explore the possibility of adapting the building for the community, both to retain its heritage and to make it multi-functional. Alongside embracing different styles of worship is a desire to boost missional evangelism and to start up home groups to further develop discipleship.

Chris says:

“I’m really inspired by the talking Jesus Project and I feel God’s priority is going to be equipping the people to talk about Jesus, so that they’re ready to do missional evangelism and be lights for Christ. It’s going to be a long-term project and we’re just really excited to get started.”

Vera Owen, Churchwarden at Hatfield St Lawrence, said:

“I do not expect many Church of England parishes get a stop press banner across their notice boards with a photograph and name of their new vicar emblazoned on it, but that is a demonstration of our excitement as we prepare to welcome the Revd Chris Bishop and family to Hatfield. Having had the blessing of seeing Chris at work when he covered some services for us during our interregnum, our congregation are happily looking forward to him joining us and prayerfully leading us forward. Prayer has been and still is at the centre of our thinking and planning; we really feel God has fulfilled our dreams.”

You can learn more about Hatfield St Lawrence here: Hatfield St Lawrence Church