The Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs has been announced as the new Bishop of Rochester, Downing Street has confirmed.
Jonathan is currently the Bishop of Huddersfield in the Diocese of Leeds and holds a national role in the Church of England as Lead Bishop for Safeguarding.
The Queen has approved the nomination of Bishop Jonathan, and he'll succeed the Rt Rev James Langstaff, who retired in July 2021.
The Church of England’s Diocese of Rochester, serves a population of around 1.3 million people and covers 215 parishes across Medway, north and west Kent, and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley.
The appointment was revealed at Trinity Church of England School, Belvedere, one of five Church of England secondary schools within the Diocese.
Bishop Jonathan says: “I am delighted to have been announced as the new Bishop of Rochester. My wife Toni and I are so excited about the prospect of moving to this wonderful Diocese.
“For us, Rochester will be a new place to discover and we’re so looking forward to getting to know the people of our churches and our communities, and to working together with them as we encourage God’s kingdom to grow in this wonderfully varied and rich place", he added.
“We are very conscious of the diversity of the communities that we serve, from urban and suburban to profoundly rural, and I am looking forward to the opportunity of exploring all these different places and to sharing in the journey with the people here of growing God’s Church, of serving the communities, and of proclaiming the good news of Christ to the people whom we seek to love and to serve in Jesus’ name.”
The new Bishop will spend the day meeting people and parishes in the Diocese, including visiting the Bridges Community Centre in Edenbridge, and St John’s in Chatham.
He will also take a tour of the Medway campus incorporating three universities, Canterbury Christ Church University, Greenwich University, and Kent University.
The day will end at Rochester Cathedral where Bishop Jonathan will join the congregation for Evensong.
Bishop Jonathan’s installation as Bishop of Rochester is expected to take place September.