New Sheffield bishop is elected to role

The Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox announced as the new Bishop of Sheffield.
7th April 2016.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
The Very Revd Dr Pete Wilcox announced as the new Bishop of Sheffield. 7th April 2016. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Sheffield’s new bishop - picked following controversy over a previous nominee’s beliefs - has moved a step closer to taking up his role after being elected.

The Very Rev Peter Wilcox was elected as the Anglican Bishop of Sheffield by the cathedral’s College of Canons, a formal step that comes in response to his selection last month. The election will be confirmed on June 5 at York Minster.

Mr Wilcox, aged 55 and a married father-of-two, was chosen for the post after the Rt Rev Philip North - the initial cleric put forward - stepped aside because of unease over his opposition to the ordination of women as priests.

The appointment of Mr North, a traditionalist, was viewed by many within the Church of England as a national test case, given Sheffield has a large number of female clergy.

A historic General Synod ruling in 2014 endorsed female bishops, while making provision for those who opposed their ordination.

Mr Wilcox is presently the Dean of Liverpool, while Mr North will remain as the Bishop of Burnley. An independent inquiry is taking place into the circumstances around Mr North’s nomination.

As Mr Wilcox is not already a bishop, he will also need to be consecrated in a service at York Minster on June 22 at 11am.

He will then be expected to ‘pay homage to the Queen’ before a service is held at Sheffield Cathedral this autumn, when he will take up his seat.

Last month Mr Wilcox vowed to restore unity, and said he would ordain ‘with great joy and delight’ women and men. He said he had been ‘crestfallen’ to learn he had lost out to Mr North, and that he felt ‘fine’ about being second choice.

Anyone wishing to attend the consecration service should notify the diocesan secretary, Heidi Adcock, by June 2 by emailing consecration@sheffield.anglican.org or calling 01709 309117. Tickets will not be issued, but the size of the congregation is being gauged.