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New Bishop for the Channel Islands

New Bishop for the Channel Islands

Sunday 16 January 2022

New Bishop for the Channel Islands

Sunday 16 January 2022


A new Bishop has been appointed to the Diocese of Salisbury, which in time will incorporate the Channel Islands.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester, will succeed the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam in the role, after the latter retired last July.

The Very Reverend Lake is a Church Commissioner and leads on safeguarding for the deans of the English cathedrals. He is married to Carol, and they have three adult children.

He grew up in Poole, held his curacy at Sherborne Abbey, trained for ministry at Chichester Theological College and was ordained in 1989. He became Vicar of St Aldhelm’s church, Branksome, Poole in 1992 and was additionally appointed Rural Dean of Poole in 2000. In 2001, he was appointed Sub Dean of St Albans, and took up his current role as Dean of Gloucester in 2011.

His new post, as Bishop of Salisbury will mean he is also Bishop of the Channel Islands, after they were moved from under the Diocese of Winchester following a disagreement between the Dean of Jersey and the Diocese over the handling of a complaint. There was no evidence of any wrongdoing but the decision was made to incorporate the Channel Islands with the Diocese of Salisbury. 

Town Church

Pictured: Guernsey's Town Church.

The Very Reverend Lake himself said that he is looking forward to his new role, and will visit the Channel Islands when he can.

"It is such a privilege and a joy to be called back to the Diocese of Salisbury as Bishop. To be able to serve in the places that formed me will be something rare and special. I will enjoy visiting Dorset and Wiltshire today and look forward to meeting as many people as possible on this announcement day.

"Coming from leading a major cathedral I have a clear sense of the importance of great organisation, of good culture and rootedness in place. I hope to lead a confident diocese as we move out of the pandemic together.

"After today, preparations can begin for this new ministry in the diocese and in due course, with the Channel Islands, and I look forward to arriving just as soon as possible."

The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Reverend Tim Barker, welcomed the Very Reverend Lake's appointment.

"I am delighted that Stephen Lake is to be the next Bishop of Salisbury and that he will be the Bishop for the Channel Islands. He has shown great interest in the Channel Islands and understands the distinctive nature of the two bailiwicks, and how the relationship between the church in the islands and the wider Church of England can be to our mutual benefit.

"I have enjoyed working with Stephen on one of the committees of the Church Commissioners, and appreciate his warmth, humanity and sense of humour."

Dean of Guernsey, Very Reverend Tim Barker

Pictured: The Dean of Guernsey, the Very Reverend Tim Barker.

The Acting Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Sherborne, the Right Reverend Karen Gorham, said the Very Reverend Lake will be a welcome addition to the diocese. 

"I am delighted that Stephen has accepted the invitation to be the 79th Bishop of Salisbury. Stephen brings significant creative gifts of leadership to the diocese at an important time in our life as we continue to encourage the local church to be the best that it can be, bringing hope to our local communities in sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

"Stephen knows the diocese from the past and understands the challenges and opportunities for both our urban and our rural contexts. Bishop Andrew and I are very much looking forward to working with Stephen and welcoming him and Carol into the diocese later in the year.

"Following this announcement there will be plenty of opportunities to get to know Stephen as he plans to make some further visits into the diocese before his consecration. We anticipate that Stephen will be consecrated as Bishop sometime after Easter and will be enthroned in Salisbury Cathedral late in the summer."

Her Majesty the Queen has approved the nomination of the Very Reverend Stephen Lake, with the election being announced by No 10 Downing Street earlier this week.

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