Rob Munro (bishop)

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Rob Munro
Bishop of Ebbsfleet
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Canterbury
In office2023–present
Predecessor Rod Thomas (as Bishop of Maidstone, PEV for conservative evangelicals)
Jonathan Goodall (as Bishop of Ebbsfleet)
Other post(s) Rector, St. Mary's Cheadle (2003–2022)
Ordination1994 (priest)
Consecration2 February 2023
by  Justin Welby
Personal details
Robert Speight Munro

1963 (age 5960)
Denomination Anglicanism
Alma mater University of Bristol
University of Manchester
Oak Hill Theological College
Reformed Theological Seminary

Robert Speight Munro (born 1963) is a Church of England bishop. Since 2023, he has been Bishop of Ebbsfleet, the second provincial episcopal visitor for conservative evangelical members and parishes of the church.


Early life and education

Munro was born in 1963 [1] in Manchester, England. [2] He was raised as an atheist [3] and converted to Christianity through the youth ministry of St. Mary's Cheadle. Munro received a degree in maths at the University of Bristol. After university, he moved to London to study in the ministry training scheme at All Souls Langham Place, then known as All Souls College of Applied Theology. While at All Souls, Munro taught part-time at All Souls School. He returned to Manchester for teacher training at the University of Manchester and taught maths and physical education in Hazel Grove. [2]

After a call to ordained ministry, Munro trained at Oak Hill Theological College and was ordained a priest in 1994. He later received a doctorate from Reformed Theological Seminary in the United States. [2]

Ordained ministry

Munro first served at St John's Church, Hartford, in the Diocese of Chester. In 1997, he became rector of St Wilfrid's Church, Davenham, and in 2003 he returned to St. Mary's Cheadle with St. Cuthbert's as rector. [4] In addition to his service in parish ministry, Munro held several positions in church leadership, including: chairman of the House of Clergy in the Diocese of Chester; an elected member of the Church of England's General Synod from 2005 to 2022; a member of the Dioceses’ Commission; rural dean for Cheadle; [4] and a council member of the Latimer Trust, the Church of England Evangelical Council [2] and Church Society. [4] As a leader of the Fellowship of Word and Spirit (FWS), Munro supported the 2018 merger of FWS and Reform into Church Society to unite English evangelicals. [5]


In September 2022, Munro was announced as the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet, taking over the portfolio of alternative episcopal oversight held by retired Bishop of Maidstone Rod Thomas. [2] On 2 February 2023, Munro was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby at Canterbury Cathedral during the same service as Jane Mainwaring and Martin Gainsborough. In deference to Munro's complementarian convictions, the women bishops present refrained from the laying on of hands for Munro, [6] and Welby was only assisted by two other male bishops as co-consecrators (Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester, and Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Rochester). [7]

At the time of Munro's consecration, nearly 150 parishes had passed resolutions requesting extended episcopal oversight from the Bishop of Maidstone or his successor and there are 90 in which +Rob serves with EEO. [4]


Munro came into office as the General Synod was discussing Anglican bishops' approval (through the Living in Love and Faith process) of same-sex blessings in the Church of England and revisiting the restrictions imposed on gay clergy in same-sex marriages or civil partnerships. [8] Munro commented that the General Synod debate:

"could threaten to break our unity on the doctrine of marriage, redefine our sanctity with respect to holiness and sexual activity, undermine our catholicity having little obvious regard for the wider Anglican Communion or beyond, and jeopardis[e] our apostolicity with respect to the clear teaching of Scripture. [...] Our received doctrine of marriage, in accordance with Scripture, is that '[...] the union of one man and one woman marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side" (Canon B30), and that includes understanding that 'sexual intercourse, as an expression of faithful intimacy, properly belongs within marriage exclusively' (1999 House of Bishops teaching document Marriage: A Teaching Document). Any move away from this understanding will have serious consequences for our Anglican communion and our mission. It is a serious concern that some recent public pronouncements appear to be at variance with this." [7]

Personal life

Munro is married to Sarah; they have three adult children. [2]

See also

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  1. "Robert Speight Munro" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The Rev Rob Munro named as next Bishop of Ebbsfleet". Church of England. 12 September 2022. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  3. "Rev Dr Rob Munro General Synod Election Address" (PDF). 2021. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Thornton, Ed (9 December 2022). "Rob Munro, next Bishop of Ebbsfleet, appointed to serve conservative Evangelicals in the C of E". Church Times. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  5. Wyatt, Tim (23 February 2018). "Three of the largest Evangelical groups in the Church of England merge". Church Times.
  6. Martin, Francis (31 January 2023). "Canterbury Cathedral U-turn over livestreaming 'particular' consecrations". Church Times. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  7. 1 2 "Ebbsfleet Newsletter" (PDF). Bishop of Ebbsfleet. February 2023. pp. 2, 4. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
  8. "Anglican Head Opens Church Meeting With Call For Unity". Barron's. Agence France Presse. 6 February 2023. Retrieved 7 February 2023.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jonathan Goodall
as Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Rod Thomas
as PEV for complementarian parishes
Bishop of Ebbsfleet