New Bishop of Stafford is named

Staffordshire | News | Published:

The new Bishop of Stafford was named today as the Vicar of Southampton, the Rev Canon Geoffrey Annas.

The new Bishop of Stafford was named today as the Vicar of Southampton, the Rev Canon Geoffrey Annas.

He was today visiting the County Showground at Stafford after the Queen approved his nomination.

Mr Annas, aged 56, succeeds the Rt Rev Gordon Mursell, who retires on June 25 on health grounds after a series of operations on his vocal cords.

He studied for the ministry at Sarum and Wells Theological College and served his first curacy at Southwark Holy Trinity with St Matthew in Southwark diocese from 1983 to 1987.

From 1987 to 1994 he was team Vicar at Walworth and Warden of the Pembroke College Mission in the diocese of Southwark. He has been Vicar of Southampton Thornhill St Christopher in the diocese of Winchester since 1994 and Honorary Canon of Winchester Cathedral and been Assistant Area Dean of Southampton since 2007.

He and his wife Ann have two grown up children Katie and Ben.

His interests include the theatre and he has been chaplain of the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton since 1996 and served on the Actor's Church Union Council.

The new bishop will be responsible for an area of mid, east and north Staffordshire and is today making a tour also taking in the Staffordshire Moorlands, Burton upon Trent and Hanley.


Commenting on his appointment, he said: "I have to be honest in that on hearing I was going to be the new Bishop of Stafford I was quite overawed, really. It is a huge responsibility, a great privilege; but also it is really exciting because, although I don't know the area very much I'm looking forward to getting to know it and certainly getting to know all the people there - particularly the clergy but the communities as well. I hope I have something to offer and I'm looking forward to discovering it.

"I think the key issues on taking up office will be to get out of the office! What I really want to do is to get to know the people and the issues they are coping with in their day to day lives. Obviously I have a general knowledge of the area but it's very different when you're living there. So I want to spend a lot of time listening and seeing out how the church relates to people in their situations."

His current bishop, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester, is himself a previous Bishop of Stafford.

Mr Annas will be consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury with other bishops from the Church of England and the Anglican Communion during a special service in Westminster Abbey on September 21. He will be officially begin his new role when he is installed in Lichfield Cathedral on Sunday, September 26.

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