|Bishop of Oxford|
|Church||Church of England|
|Diocese||Diocese of Oxford|
|In office||6 July 2016 –present |
|Other post(s)|| Warden, Cranmer Hall (1996–2004)|
Archbishops' Missioner and Fresh Expressions Team Leader(2004–2008)
Bishop of Sheffield (2008–2016)
|Ordination||25 September 1983 (deacon) |
by Bill Westwood
23 September 1984 (priest)
by Graham Leonard
|Consecration||25 January 2009|
by John Sentamu
|Born||29 May 1957|
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
|Residence||Bishop's Lodge, Kidlington|
|Alma mater||Worcester College, Oxford|
| Member of the House of Lords |
( Lord Spiritual )
14 October 2013
Steven John Lindsey Croft (born 29 May 1957) is a Church of England bishop and theologian specialising in mission. He has been Bishop of Oxford since the confirmation of his election on 6 July 2016.  He was the Bishop of Sheffield from 2008 until 2016; previously he was Archbishops’ Missioner and Team Leader of Fresh Expressions, a joint Church of England and Methodist initiative. He falls within the open evangelical tradition of Anglicanism.
Croft was born on 29 May 1957.  He attended Heath Grammar School in Halifax and studied classics and theology at Worcester College, Oxford, graduating in 1980.  From 1980 to 1983, he trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham.  The University of Durham awarded him a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1984 for a thesis titled The identity of the individual in the Book of Psalms . 
Croft was ordained as deacon in the Diocese of London on 25 September 1983 by Bill Westwood, Bishop of Edmonton, at St Andrew's Enfield (his title church).  The following year, he was ordained as priest by Graham Leonard, Bishop of London, at St Paul's Cathedral on 23 September 1984.  From 1983 to 1987 he was curate of the parish church of St Andrew's Enfield. After that, he became vicar of Ovenden, an Urban Priority Area parish in the Diocese of Wakefield, from 1987 to 1996. In 1997, Croft was made a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council, which he was a part of until 2000.
1996–2004: Warden (i.e. head) of Cranmer Hall
2004–2008: Archbishops' Missioner and first Team Leader of Fresh Expressions
Croft was appointed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York to help found Fresh Expressions, a joint Church of England and Methodist initiative "to help Christians of any denomination think about ways of starting and growing fresh expressions of church in their area" where a fresh expression is defined as "a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church".  In recognition of this work he was awarded the silver Cross of St Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Croft was nominated as the next bishop of Sheffield, succeeding Jack Nicholls, who retired in July 2008,  and formally elected by the Chapter of Sheffield Cathedral in November 2008  (and that election having been confirmed in the interim), he was consecrated as a bishop by John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, on 25 January 2009,  at York Minster;  and started work in the diocese following his formal enthronement on 9 May 2009.  This was followed by three Welcome Eucharists celebrated in various locations around the diocese to allow more people to meet the new bishop. 
In 2012, Croft was nominated by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, to be the Anglican fraternal delegate to the Synod of Bishops in Rome. 
Croft became a member of the House of Lords on 15 July 2013.  On 12 April 2016, it was announced that he was to be translated to become Bishop of Oxford in "autumn" 2016;  he was duly elected to that see and that election was confirmed at Lambeth Palace on 6 July 2016, at which point Croft became the bishop of Oxford.  He was (re-)introduced to the Upper House as Bishop of Oxford on 19 July 2016.  Croft is the first bishop of Oxford to reside at the new Bishop's Lodge, Kidlington; "for decades" previously, bishops had resided at Linton Road in North Oxford. 
In November 2022, he became the most senior Church of England figure to back same-sex marriage, saying clergy should be free to bless or marry same-sex partners and to enter into a same-sex marriage themselves, in contrast to the Church's official position.     As a result of this, some evangelicals within his diocese may seek alternative oversight. 
Croft was born in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1957. He is married to Ann and has four children. 
Two survivors of clerical child sexual abuse staged a peaceful protest outside Croft's inauguration as Bishop of Oxford on 30 September 2016.  One of them said that he had told Croft three times in 2012 and 2013, when Croft was Bishop of Sheffield, of his rape by a serving priest, but the bishop and other senior figures had failed to respond or take action despite the abuser still being alive. The cover of the protest brochure handed out to the public pictured all six bishops who the survivor claimed had failed to respond, including John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.    The survivor commented to the Church Times that he was angry that the church had the "nerve" to enthrone bishops after safeguarding complaints had been made against them. He went on to say
This is absolute proof that the Church of England does not truly recognise the profound and long-lasting impact such abuse has on survivors at all. 
The protest was shown on ITV  and the BBC.  Croft met with one of the survivors in front of the news cameras.
In 2018 it was reported in media that Croft was being investigated by South Yorkshire Police, alongside Archbishop Sentamu, Bishop Martyn Snow and Bishop Peter Burrows, for failure to respond properly to a report of clerical child abuse. The priest against whom the allegation was made committed suicide the day before he was due in court in June 2017.    The archbishop of York's office said:
The diocese of York insists that Sentamu did not fail to act on any disclosures because that responsibility lay with Ineson's local bishop, Steven Croft, who was at the time bishop of Sheffield. 
A Guardian editorial contrasted Sentamu's response to a statement from Archbishop Justin Welby at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, in which Welby stated
It is not an acceptable human response, let alone a leadership response to say "I have heard about a problem, but … it was someone else's job to report it." 
Matt Ineson, the victim of the alleged abuse, called for the resignations of Sentamu and Croft.  In May 2018, Archbishop Welby declined to discipline Croft, and said he "will take no further action" other than ensuring that Croft received further safeguarding training and understood his responsibilities as a diocesan bishop. 
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Church of England ministers can not carry out or bless same-sex marriages
We also appreciate his recognition that a change in the Church's position will require, not only the protection of conscience of those who could not support this, but also a differentiation of ministry and oversight. There are those in the Diocese who have already felt the need for this, believing these matters to be first-order issues and, very sadly, as a result of this publication, that number is bound to increase.