Bishop to the Forces

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The Anglican church in the British Armed Forces falls under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury; however, for all practical purposes the function is performed by the Bishop to the Forces. His full title is "The Archbishop of Canterbury's Episcopal Representative to the Armed Forces". The Bishop to the Forces is not a military chaplain. [1] The Bishop always sits in the Church's House of Bishops and (therefore) General Synod; from 2014 to 2021, this fact was utilised to give the Bishop at Lambeth (the Archbishop of Canterbury's episcopal chief of staff) a seat on both.


There is sometimes confusion between the (Anglican) "Bishop to the Forces" and the (Roman Catholic) "Bishop of the Forces": for this reason the latter is normally given his title in full, i.e. "The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces". [2]

List of bishops

Bishops to the Forces
19481956 Bishop Cuthbert Bardsley (cropped).jpg Cuthbert Bardsley Also Bishop of Croydon; later became Bishop of Coventry.
19561966 No image.svg Stanley Betts Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Dean of Rochester.
19661975 No image.svg John Hughes Also Bishop of Croydon.
19771984 No image.svg Stuart Snell Also Bishop of Croydon.
19851990 No image.svg Ronald Gordon Also Bishop at Lambeth.
19901992 No image.svg David Smith Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Bishop of Bradford.
19922001 Bishop John Kirkham (cropped).jpg John Kirkham Also Bishop of Sherborne.
20012009 Officers of the Order of the Garter (David Conner cropped).JPG David Conner Also Dean of Windsor.
20092014 Stephen Venner, Bishop of Dover, at the Blessing of the Waters, Whitstable, 2006.jpg Stephen Venner Also Bishop of Dover and Bishop for the Falkland Islands.
9 July 20142017 No image.svg Nigel Stock Also Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; [3] retired August 2017. [4]
6 September 20172021 Bishop at Lambeth at the 2019 Blessing the Thames Ceremony (cropped2).jpg Tim Thornton As Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; [5] commissioned 6 September 2017. [6]
20 September 2021present No image.svg Hugh Nelson Also Bishop of St Germans; commissioned 20 September 2021 [7]

See also

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  1. Crockford's Clerical Directory 2008/2009 (100th edition), Church House Publishing ( ISBN   978-0-7151-1030-0)
  2. Archived July 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. "England: Archbishop Welby commissions new Bishop to the Forces". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  4. Archbishop of Canterbury — Nigel Stock announces retirement as Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 17 March 2017)
  5. Lambeth Palace — Tim Thornton announced as new Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 4 April 2017)
  6. Lambeth Palace — Tim Thornton commissioned as new Bishop at Lambeth (Accessed 9 September 2017)
  7. "Bishop Hugh announced as Bishop to the Armed Forces". Truro Diocese. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.