Stephen Platten

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Stephen Platten

Bishop of Wakefield
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Wakefield
In office2003 20 April 2014 (diocese dissolved)
Predecessor Nigel McCulloch
Other post(s) Dean of Norwich
Rector, St Michael, Cornhill (July 2014 2016) [1]
Honorary assistant bishop (July 2014 present)
Consecration1 May 2003 [2]
Personal details
Born (1947-05-17) 17 May 1947 (age 75)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
ParentsGeorge Henry Platten & Marjory [3]
SpouseRosslie [3]
ChildrenTwo sons; Aidan and Gregory [3]
Alma mater Institute of Education, London Trinity College, Oxford

Stephen George Platten, FSA (born 17 May 1947, in Southgate) is a retired Anglican bishop. He was the last diocesan Bishop of Wakefield in the Church of England. He was consecrated in this role on 19 July 2003 and immediately prior to that was Dean of Norwich from 1995. He was installed at Wakefield Cathedral on 19 July 2003. [2]


Early life and education

Platten was educated at the Stationers' Company's School. He has a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree from the Institute of Education and a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Theology from Cuddesdon College. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree at Trinity College, Oxford. He is also an honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt) [4] and was awarded an Hon. DUniv from the University of Huddersfield in 2012. [5]

Ordained ministry

Platten was made deacon in 1975 and ordained priest in 1976 in the Diocese of Oxford. His ministry positions include being a residentiary canon at Portsmouth Cathedral and the Diocese of Portsmouth's Director of Ordinands (1983–1990), Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs (1990–1995). He is a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis (TSSF), [6] and served as the Minister Provincial of its European Province from 1991 to 1996.

Between 1990 and 1995, Platten was Guestmaster of The Nikaean Club, a Lambeth Palace dining club with a focus on the ecumenical hospitality of the Archbishop of Canterbury. [7]

Platten was admitted to sit in the House of Lords as one of the Lords Spiritual on 22 June 2009. [8]

It was announced on 3 November 2013 that the Diocese of Wakefield, and therefore the post of Bishop of Wakefield, would be dissolved on 20 April 2014. In July 2014, he became Rector of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London and an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of London. [1] He stepped down as rector in 2016, retiring elsewhere in the diocese and remaining assistant bishop in London, Southwark and Newcastle. [9]

Ministry in Retirement

Between 2013 and 2020, Platten was Chairman of the Council of Hymns Ancient and Modern, Ltd. [10]

In late 2020 he was elected Master of the Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers. [11]


Platten supports the ordination of women as priests and bishops. [12]

On 11 February 2017, he was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign 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 practices around sexuality. [13] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures; [14] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod. [15]

Personal life

Platten is married to Rosslie, whose work is focused particularly on children with special needs. They have two sons, Aidan and Gregory, who are both also ordained in the Church of England. [16]

His homepage states that he "has particular interests in the study of theology and relations with other churches. He has recently been appointed as Chairman of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, which seeks to develop the worshipping life of the church."

It also states that his interests include reading, walking, Northumberland and music. [17]



He has also edited:

He has edited and contributed to eight books:

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The Bishop of Wakefield was the ordinary of the now-defunct Church of England Diocese of Wakefield in the Province of York. The diocese was based in Wakefield in West Yorkshire, covering the City of Wakefield, Barnsley, Kirklees and Calderdale. The see was centred in the City of Wakefield where the bishop's seat (cathedra) was located in the Cathedral Church of All Saints, a parish church elevated to cathedral status in 1888.


  1. 1 2 Diocese of London – St Michael's Cornhill to welcome the Rt Revd Stephen Platten as Rector (Accessed 20 April 2014)
  2. 1 2 "Diocese of Adelaide — Archbishop's Report to the Synod, 31 May 2003" (PDF). Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. 1 2 3 Stephen Plattern CV — April 2005 Archived 10 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Church of England — Bishop of Wakefield
  5. University of Huddersfield — Honorary graduates
  6. "Franciscan Bishops at Lambeth" (PDF). Third Order News. No. 32. January 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  7. "Guestmasters of the Nikaean Club since 1943". Nikaean Club. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  8. "New Members in the Lords". Archived from the original on 24 May 2009.
  9. "Stephen George Platten" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  10. "Bishop to chair charity that published the country's first hymn book". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  11. "Former Stationers' Company's School pupil and Bishop becomes Master". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  12. The Rt Revd Stephen Platten on the Anglican church and women bishops - University of Huddersfield on YouTube
  13. 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, Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  14. 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, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  15. The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  16. "Bishop Stephen Platten welcomed as Rector of St Michael's Cornhill". Diocese of London. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  17. "THE RT REVD STEPHEN GEORGE PLATTEN" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
Church of England titles
Preceded by Dean of Norwich
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Wakefield
diocese dissolved