The new Bishop of Reading is to be the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, Downing Street announced today. The new Bishop replaces the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell who became Bishop of Chelmsford in 2010.
Bishop Andrew, who is 56, is currently Area Bishop of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. He will be installed as Bishop of Reading at Reading Minster on Saturday 16 April.
The Bishop of Reading is one of three Area Bishops in the Diocese of Oxford, who serve under the more senior diocesan bishop, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford.
The Reading Episcopal Area covers “old Berkshire”, taking in the local authority areas of the Vale of White Horse, West Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell Forest and Windsor and Maidenhead, as well as part of South Oxfordshire.
Bishop Andrew said: “Having spent nine absorbing, fruitful years in Ethiopia, I am delighted to be coming to the Diocese of Oxford – a Diocese clearly committed to transforming lives and serving communities. We look forward to making our home in Berkshire and to engaging with many of you in the Church and the community.”
The Bishop of Oxford said: “I am delighted that Bishop Andrew is coming to join us in the Diocese of Oxford. He brings deep and fascinating experience and knowledge of the wider Anglican world which will be very enriching to the people of Berkshire and the Diocese as a whole. He and Janice will have a lot to discover here and I know they look forward to the warm welcome and hospitality of the people of Berkshire.”
After Morning Prayer and breakfast with senior colleagues at St Laurence, Reading, Bishop Andrew will spend the day (Monday 17 January) on a whistle-stop tour of his new Area. He will start at John Lewis in Reading, where he will meet partners and contractors, and hear about the challenges facing the retail sector.
He will then travel to Wokingham where he will meet staff, parents and children at All Saints CE Primary School, and hear about an innovative partnership between All Saints Church and the diocesan charity PACT which helps support parents*. PACT (Parents and Children Together, www.pactcharity.org) is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. He will also take part in a whole school assembly.
Next stop will be W. Cumber & Son (Theale) Ltd in Marcham, where farm manager Neil Rowe will show him round and host a farmhouse lunch. The farm is part of a mixed agricultural estate owned by the Cumber family and has recently opened a new low carbon beef unit (see www.cumbersoftheale.co.uk).
Finally he will visit the UK headquarters of Vodafone in Newbury where he will have a tour of the recently opened Network Operations Centre, offering him an insight into the Thames Valley’s hi-tech industry.
The day will end with a tea hosted by the Archdeacon of Berkshire.
Bishop Andrew is married to Janice, a plant physiologist, and has two grown-up children and a granddaughter.
For further information, contact Sarah Meyrick on 07824 906839 or Jo Duckles on 01865 208227. Photos of the Bishop are available.
*For background information on the PACT project , see www.pactcharity.org or this article from the Door.