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CHURCH OF ENGLAND: New Bishop of Reading Appointed

NEW BISHOP OF READING APPOINTED

From Anglican Mainstream Oxford

"We are delighted at the announcement that Canon Stephen Cottrell is to
be the next Bishop of Reading. We warmly welcome him as an evangelist, a
leader in mission and a teacher-pastor. We look forward to working with
him both in the Berkshire Archdeaconry and the wider diocese. We assure
him of our support and commit ourselves to pray for him and his family
as they come to live and minister amongst us."

Philip Giddings, Jonathan Wilmot and Vaughan Roberts on behalf of
Anglican Mainstream Oxford Dr Philip Giddings Convenor of AM UK The Ven
Paul Gardner Archdeacon of Exeter The Rev David Banting Vicar of St
Peter's Harold Wood On behalf of AM UK

Tuesday 6th January 2004

It has been announced from 10 Downing Street today that the Queen has
approved the nomination of The Revd. Canon Stephen Cottrell, as the next
Bishop of Reading.

Since 2001 Stephen Cottrell has been Canon Pastor and Vice Dean of
Peterborough Cathedral, where he has been responsible for the pastoral
care and faith development of the congregation, and the Cathedral's
links with the local community.

Stephen was ordained in 1984, having trained for ministry at St
Stephen's House in Oxford. He served his title in the Southwark diocese
at Christ Church & St Paul’s Forest Hill where he began leading parish
missions and teaching and writing about evangelism, particularly from a
catholic perspective. This remains the main focus of his ministry. After
this he was a Parish Priest of St Wilfrid’s, Parklands, a small council
estate parish on the edge of Chichester, and Assistant Director of
Pastoral Studies at Chichester Theological College. The growth and
renewal that happened in this church has shaped and inspired most of his
teaching about mission and evangelism.

In 1993 he became Diocesan Missioner for the missionary diocese of
Wakefield. It was here that he was part of a group that wrote and
developed the Emmaus programme for evangelism, nurture and discipleship.
This is used by about 3000 churches in Britain, and also around the
world, where it has been translated into several languages. In 1997 he
began working for Springboard, the Archbishop of Canterbury and York’s
initiative for evangelism. This involved teaching and speaking about
evangelism and leading missions and conferences in England and also in
the Anglican Communion. Throughout this time Stephen and his family were
based and worshipped at the UPA parish of St Thomas', Huddersfield.
While working in Yorkshire, particularly through Emmaus and with
Springboard, Stephen found himself working very closely alongside
Christians of other traditions. This has been another big influence on
his understanding of mission and ministry.

Stephen is on the Governing Body and is a founder member of the College
of Evangelists. He has served on the Church of England's Mission,
Renewal and Evangelism committee. He has been a member of the Advisory
group for Anglican Church Planting Initiatives, and remains an Associate
Missioner with Springboard and a member of the Springboard Executive.
Stephen is also a member of the Society of Catholic Priests, a group of
clergy committed to evangelism, and a member of Affirming Catholicism.

He was born and brought up in Essex. Before ordination he lived in South
London, working in the film industry, and for a year at St Christopher’s
Hospice in Sydenham. Along with the growth and renewal experienced in
Chichester, and working across traditions in Wakefield and with
Springboard, his work at St Christopher's is the other great influence
on his ministry.

Stephen's interests are writing, reading, cooking and music. He is
married to Rebecca, who is a potter, and also works part time as a
Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school. They have three lively
boys - Joseph who is13, Benjamin, aged 10, and Samuel, 8.

Stephen has written widely about evangelism, the work of initiation and
spirituality. His books include - Emmaus; The Way of Faith (Church House
Publishing); Travelling Well (Church House Publishing), co-written with
Steve Croft; Catholic Evangelism (DLT); and Praying through Life
(Church House Publishing). His most recent books are Youth Emmaus
(Church House Publishing); On this Rock (Bible Reading Fellowship), an
introduction to the Bible, that focuses particularly on the life of the
Apostle Peter; and, just published, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent
book for 2004, I thirst (Zondervan). This is a book about the cross.

On learning of his nomination, he said: “I am looking forward to
becoming the next Bishop of Reading with a mixture of excitement and
trepidation. I hope to be a Bishop whose ministry is based upon the
apostolic call to live and share the gospel”.

“I believe my work in mission and evangelism has prepared me well for
the challenges facing the church in this new century. I hope and pray
that my love for and understanding of the different traditions of the
Church of England will enable me to be a focus for unity in the Reading
Episcopal area. I have always worked in the church as a Pastor and an
Evangelist: I believe that these must also be at the heart of the
ministry of a Bishop”.

He asks that the clergy and people of Berkshire will begin praying for
him and his family as they prepare for the move, seek to sort out
schools for the children, and begin to focus priorities for this new
chapter in ministry. He also wants to assure everyone in the churches of
the Berkshire area that he is already praying for them.

"His outstanding work at Springboard has commended him widely as a
Catholic Evangelist in the Church of England" Rev David Banting, vicar
of St Peter's Harold Wood, Essex.

His consecration will be on 4th May 2004.

+++

Bishop of Oxford's letter following Bishop's nomination.

Tuesday 6th January 2004

To clergy and lay leaders in the diocese of Oxford

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to give you advance notice that at 11 am tomorrow, the
Prime Minister’s office will announce that the next bishop of Reading
will be the Revd Canon Stephen Cottrell, at present Canon Pastor and
Vice-Dean of Peterborough Cathedral.

Stephen has gifts of mission and evangelism which have been widely
recognised in the Church of England. In 1997 he began working for
Springboard, the initiative for evangelism of the archbishops of
Canterbury and York. This has involved teaching and speaking about
evangelism and leading missions and conferences in England and other
parts of the Anglican Communion. He is strongly aware of the serious
challenges facing the Church today, and believes passionately in the
power of the gospel to transform individuals and communities.

Stephen has rich pastoral experience from his time at Forest Hill in the
diocese of Southwark, a council estate on the edge of Chichester, and a
UPA parish in Huddersfield. While drawing on the catholic perspective,
he has worked very closely with evangelicals and ecumenical partners in
bringing the good news of Christ to bear on the modern world. He was
part of a group that wrote and developed the Emmaus programme for
evangelism, nurture and discipleship, which is used by some 3,000
churches in Britain and around the world, where it has also been
translated into several languages.

He is married to Rebecca, a potter who also works part-time as a
learning support assistant in a secondary school, and they have three
boys aged 13, 10 and 8.

The consecration will be on Tuesday 4 May. Stephen asks particularly
for the prayers of clergy and laypeople in Berkshire as he prepares for
his ministry.

Full details of the appointment will be available in a press release on
the diocesan website (address below) from 11 am tomorrow, and I ask you
to keep this news strictly embargoed until then.

With every good wish and blessing,

+Richard Oxon

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