The Reverend Canon David Williams, currently Vicar of Christ Church Winchester, will be the new Bishop of Basingstoke, Downing Street announced today. He will be consecrated in a service in Winchester Cathedral on 19 September. David succeeds the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, now the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
David has served in the Diocese for the past thirteen years, leading Christ Church in the city centre. Together with his wife Helen, he has played a leading role in growing the church and working closely with the local community, including the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester Prison, and the University. He has also helped to set up the Street Pastors project in Winchester, helping to reduce crime in the city. These strong local connections were a key reason for his appointment:
“Knowing the Diocese as I do will, I’m sure, be invaluable in my new role” said David, “Over the last 13 years I have grown to know and love the people, the churches and the communities of this area. Over that time I’ve met some really inspiring clergy and enjoyed working with many organisations doing great things and changing people’s lives. I want to build on that in this new role.”
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided that David’s consecration as Bishop of Basingstoke will take place at Winchester Cathedral, the first consecration in the city for many years. As a local vicar the Cathedral holds a special place in David’s heart and he very much welcomed Archbishop Justin’s decision:
“Having the consecration ceremony within the diocese means a great deal. Winchester Diocese is our home so it will be a great honour to be consecrated in our own Cathedral, surrounded by the community, our friends and family. I want to ensure that it will be an event everybody can enjoy.”
Social justice and the power of faith to change lives have always been David’s passions. He grew up in East Africa and after completing university he worked for the Church Mission Society in eastern Kenya during a tumultuous period in the country’s history. There he witnessed the devastation of drought and famine but also the astonishing tenacity and faith of the growing Christian church. He was Deputy Headteacher of a village secondary school during those years and he retains close links with the Anglican Church in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.
He believes these experiences will stand him in good stead to take on the challenges he’ll now face as Bishop of Basingstoke: <p>“Taking on this role comes with a huge responsibility, North Hampshire embraces many diverse and unique communities both urban and rural. Myself and Helen are really looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”
In welcoming David to his new role, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester said:
“I am absolutely delighted that David has been appointed to serve in this new way within the diocese. His work over the past thirteen years, his understanding of the challenges and strengths of the local church and the relationships he has forged – both within Winchester and across the diocese – mean he is well-fitted for the task ahead.”
For further information, contact the Diocese of Winchester communications team on 020 7618 9197 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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