John Saxbee

Last updated

John Saxbee
Bishop of Lincoln
Diocese Diocese of Lincoln
In office2001/2 31 January 2011 (retirement)
Predecessor Bob Hardy
Successor Christopher Lowson
Other post(s) Bishop of Ludlow (1994–2002)
Ordination1972 (deacon)
1973 (priest)
Consecration29 April 1994
Personal details
Born (1946-01-07) 7 January 1946 (age 78)
Bristol, England
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
SpouseJackie Saxbee
Children1 daughter, Helen Saxbee
Alma mater University of Bristol
St John's College, Durham

John Charles Saxbee (born 7 January 1946) is a retired Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Lincoln in the Church of England between 2001/2 and 31 January 2011. [1] [2] He was introduced to the House of Lords (as a new Lord Spiritual) on 1 July 2008 together with Eliza Manningham-Buller, former Director-General of MI5. [3]


Education, ordination and career

Bristol-born, Saxbee was educated at the University of Bristol where he obtained a BA degree in 1968. He subsequently went on to complete his PhD degree at St John's College, Durham in 1974. He trained for the priesthood at Cranmer Hall in Durham and was ordained in Exeter Cathedral as a deacon in 1972 and a priest in 1973. [4] From 1972 he was curate at Compton Gifford in the Diocese of Exeter before moving to Weston Mill in the same diocese as priest-in-charge in 1977. He later became Vicar of St Philip's in Weston Mill before moving to become Team Vicar of Central Exeter Team Ministry in 1981; a post he held until 1987. He was Joint Director of the South West Ministerial Training Course between 1981 and 1992 and was a member of the General Synod's House of Clergy between 1985 and 1994.

He became a prebendary at Exeter Cathedral in 1988 until his appointment as Archdeacon of Ludlow and a prebendary of Hereford Cathedral in 1992. Between 1992 and 1994 he was also priest-in-charge of Wistanstow and Acton Scott. He was appointed Suffragan Bishop of Ludlow in 1994 whilst remaining Archdeacon of Ludlow. He was consecrated as bishop on 29 April 1994 at St Paul's Cathedral, by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury. [5] He relinquished both posts when he took up his role as Bishop of Lincoln in 2002, his appointment having been announced on 4 September 2001 and his election confirmed late December 2001/early January 2002. [6] He was installed at Lincoln Cathedral on 23 March 2002. Saxbee is also an academic writer having published Liberal Evangelism: a flexible response to the decade in 1994. [7]

Saxbee has expressed concerns about the divisive nature of the proposed Anglican Covenant, speaking at the November 2010 General Synod he said, "the Anglican Communion doesn't need a Covenant because Anglicanism is a covenant." [8]

Personal life

Saxbee is married to Jacqueline ("Jackie"), [9] who was his secretary and with whom he has one grown-up daughter, Helen, who works for the Church Times . [9] He enjoys reading Victorian novels, watching sport on television and listening to music. He is also a supporter of Bristol City FC. He and his wife now live in Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire, Wales. [10]


Saxbee announced to the March 2010 [11] meeting of Lincoln's diocesan synod [12] that he intended to retire as Bishop of Lincoln on 31 January 2011. [2] [13]

Saxbee's opposition to the proposed Anglican Covenant continued into his retirement when, together with Peter Selby, retired Bishop of Worcester, he was appointed an episcopal patron of the international No Anglican Covenant Coalition. [14] In a joint letter to the Church Times, Saxbee and Selby warned that "this is a time to hold fast to Anglicanism’s inherited culture of inclusion and respectful debate which is our way of dealing with difference rather than require assent to procedures and words that have already shown themselves to be divisive." [15]

Since 2011, he has had permitted to officiate [10] as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of St Davids within the Church in Wales, [16] with special oversight for retired clergy in that diocese. [17] On 11 February 2017, fourteen retired bishops signed an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practises around sexuality. [18] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops — including Saxbee — had added their signatures; [19] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod. [20]

Saxbee reviews books regularly for the Church Times. [21]

Other appointments


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Archbishop of Canterbury</span> Senior bishop of the Church of England

The archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and a principal leader of the Church of England, the ceremonial head of the worldwide Anglican Communion and the bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. The current archbishop is Justin Welby, who was enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on 21 March 2013. Welby is the 105th person to hold the position, as part of a line of succession going back to the "Apostle to the English" Augustine of Canterbury, who was sent to the island by the church in Rome in 597. Welby succeeded Rowan Williams.

John Warren Gladwin is a retired Anglican bishop. From 2004 to 2009, he was the Bishop of Chelmsford in the Church of England. He stands in the open evangelical tradition.

David Staffurth Stancliffe is a retired Church of England bishop. He was Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral from 1982 to 1993, and the Bishop of Salisbury from 1993 to 2010. He is the third generation of his family to serve the ordained ministry.

Peter Stephen Maurice Selby is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was the Church of England Bishop of Worcester from 1997 until he retired at the end of September 2007.

Stephen George Platten, is a retired Anglican prelate, the last to serve as diocesan Bishop of Wakefield in the Church of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tim Stevens</span> Retired British Anglican bishop (born 1946)

Timothy John Stevens, is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Dunwich from 1995 to 1999 and was Bishop of Leicester from 1999 to 2015. From 2003 to 2015, he was a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual and served as Convenor of the Lords Spiritual from 2009 to 2015.

John Martin Wharton, is a British Anglican bishop, a retired Bishop of Newcastle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Pritchard (bishop)</span> British bishop

John Lawrence Pritchard is a Church of England bishop. He was the Bishop of Oxford from 2007 to 2014. He is in the Open Evangelical tradition.

Gordon Bates was the eighth Bishop of Whitby.

Alan Thomas Lawrence Wilson is a British Anglican bishop. Since October 2003, he has been the area Bishop of Buckingham in the Diocese of Oxford.

David Keith Gillett is a British Anglican bishop. From 1988 to 1999, he was Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, an Anglican theological college. From 1999 to 2008, he was the Bishop of Bolton, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Manchester. Since 2008, he has been an honorary assistant bishop and Diocesan Interfaith Adviser in the Diocese of Norwich.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tim Ellis (bishop)</span> British bishop

Timothy William Ellis is a retired British bishop of the Church of England. From 2006 to 2013, he was Bishop of Grantham, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Lincoln; he was also an area bishop from 2010 until 31 January 2013.

Ian James Brackley is a retired British Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Dorking from 1996 to 2015.

David John Atkinson is the former Bishop of Thetford.

John Dudley Davies is a former Anglican Bishop of Shrewsbury. During his tenure the post changed from suffragan bishop to area bishop with the institution of area bishops in 1992.

Peter David Maurice is a retired Anglican bishop. He was the Bishop of Taunton until 30 April 2015.

David Douglas James Rossdale was the Bishop of Grimsby, a suffragan bishop in the Church of England Diocese of Lincoln.

Alistair James Magowan is a British retired Anglican bishop. He served as the Bishop of Ludlow — the sole suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Hereford — from 2009 until his 2020 retirement.

Alexander Martin Shaw is a retired Anglican bishop who served in the Scottish Episcopal Church. He was the Bishop of Argyll and The Isles from 2004 to 2009.

Oliver Simon is a retired Anglican bishop and Church of England priest. After a 40-year ministry as a priest, he served as Bishop of Antsiranana in Madagascar from 2012 until 2015.


  1. "The 71st Bishop of Lincoln". BBC Lincolnshire. BBC. 22 March 2002. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  2. 1 2 Lincoln Diocese — Bishop signs off Archived 18 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "What's on: Parliamentary Calendar". Houses of Parliament. Houses of Parliament. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  4. Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee - official website of the Church of England
  5. "picture caption" . Church Times . No. 6847. 6 May 1994. p. 3. ISSN   0009-658X . Retrieved 3 September 2020 via UK Press Online archives.
  6. The Diocese of Lincoln — The Bishop of Lincoln's Letter, February 2002 (Archived 4 February 2002; accessed 7 August 2016)
  7. "See of Lincoln". 10 Downing Street. 10 Downing Street. 4 September 2001. Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  8. "Bishop John Saxbee on the Anglican Covenant". Lesley's Blog. The Rev'd Lesley Crawley. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  9. 1 2 "Diocese of Lincoln – Who we are". Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  10. 1 2 Crockford's Clerical Directory, 2014-15. Church House Publications. 5 December 2014. p. 773. ISBN   978-0-7151-1072-0.
  11. "Bishop of Lincoln". Lincolnshire Pride. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  12. West, Judy (27 March 2010). "Bishop of Lincoln to retire". Church of England Newspaper . Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  13. "Bishop of Lincoln announces retirement" . Retrieved 29 March 2010.
  14. 1 2 "Episcopal Patrons for No Anglican Covenant Coalition". Thinking Anglicans. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  15. Saxbee, John; Selby, Peter (6 January 2012). "Letters Page: Synodical debate on the Anglican Covenant". Church Times, Issue 7764. London, England: Hymns Ancient and Modern. ISSN   0009-658X. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  16. (Accessed 14 November 2021)
  17. "No rest for the righteous? Some reflections on clergy retirement". Pobl Dewi. March 2016. p. 2. Article by John Saxbee in St Davids Diocese newspaper.
  18. Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter Archived 12 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Laurie Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Stephen Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Williamson.)
  19. Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures Archived 18 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  20. The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  21. "Less a theology than a blueprint".
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Ludlow
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Lincoln
Succeeded by
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by President of Modern Church
Succeeded by