Vivienne Faull

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Vivienne Faull
Bishop of Bristol
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Bristol crop 2.jpg
Official portrait, 2019
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Bristol
In office2018 present
Predecessor Mike Hill
Other post(s)
Ordination1987 (deacon)
1994 (priest)
Consecration3 July 2018
by  Justin Welby
Personal details
Born (1955-05-20) 20 May 1955 (age 67)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Alma mater St Hilda's College, Oxford
St John's College, Nottingham
Member of the House of Lords
(Lord Spiritual)
Assumed office
23 October 2018

Vivienne Frances Faull (born 20 May 1955) is a British Anglican bishop and Lord Spiritual. Since 2018, she has served as the Bishop of Bristol. In 1985, she was the first woman to be appointed chaplain to an Oxbridge college. [1] She was later a cathedral dean, and the only female cathedral provost in Church of England history, having served as Provost of Leicester from 2000 to 2002.


Early life

Faull was born on 20 May 1955. [2] She was educated at The Queen's School, Chester, an all-girls independent school. [2] She studied at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree; it was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1982. [3] When she began studying theology at St John's College, Nottingham, she became the first woman to be paid by the Church of England to do so. [4]

Ordained ministry

Faull was licensed as a deaconess in the Church of England in 1982, and ordained as a deacon in 1987 and as a priest in 1994. [3] She served first at the Church of St Matthew and St James, Mossley Hill, Liverpool, and then as Chaplain at Clare College, Cambridge. From 1990 to 1994, she was on the staff at Gloucester Cathedral. [5] In 1994 she became Canon Pastor at Coventry Cathedral, later becoming Vice Provost, before moving to Leicester in 2000. [6]

On 13 May 2000, [7] she was installed as Provost of Leicester Cathedral [8] – the first (and, due to the Cathedrals Measure 1999 redesignating all cathedral provosts as deans, only) female cathedral provost in Church of England history. In 2002, when her job title (but not the essential nature of the role) changed, she became the Dean of Leicester – and thus, with that change of title, the first female dean in the Church of England.

It was announced on 5 July 2012 that Faull was to become Dean of York in late 2012. [9] She was duly installed at York Minster on 1 December. [10]

Episcopal ministry

Faull was thought by many to be a leading candidate for the first woman appointed a bishop in the Church of England [11] when canon law was altered in 2014 to allow female bishops, [12] but the first woman to be made a bishop was Libby Lane. [13] Faull eventually became the 18th female bishop in 2018. [14]

On 15 May 2018, it was announced that Faull would be the next Bishop of Bristol, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Bristol, in succession to Mike Hill. [15] She officially took up the appointment when she was elected and confirmed on 25 June 2018. [16] On 3 July 2018, she was consecrated a bishop by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, during a service at St Paul's Cathedral, London. [17] [18] She was installed as the 56th Bishop of Bristol at Bristol Cathedral on 20 October 2018 and introduced as a Lord Spiritual at the House of Lords on 23 October. [14]


Faull's views have been described as "centrist to liberal" and as "open evangelical". [19] [20]

In 2014, she said that she supported the blessing of same-sex partnerships. [19] In 2023, in reaction to the announcement that the Church of England was planing on introducing bleassing for same-sex couples, she stated "I further support a change to the law that would allow for the marriage of same-sex couples in church, and regret that this proposal does not extend that legal change". [21]


In 2013 Faull was the target of hate mail during an unsuccessful campaign to have the remains of Richard III interred in York Minster. [22] Protests against Faull's involvement in the decision to inter the remains in Leicester Cathedral continued, ultimately resulting in the prosecution of one protester, [23] and an online petition calling for the removal of the dean. [24] [25]

In October 2016 Faull was instrumental in the sacking of all the York Minster bellringers with no notice on grounds of safeguarding, [26] [27] [28] and the subsequent suspension of a carillonneur. The locks were changed at the Minster and the ringers unable to lower the bells for safety. This was called 'uncharitable' and 'unChristian' in the press. The Archbishop, John Sentamu, decried the way that Faull had been "hounded" and said that she was one of the best deans he had ever worked with. [29] [30] The bell ringers had been dismissed following a claim of sexual assault against one of its members; although no conviction followed the cathedral chapter felt there was an ongoing risk. Several of the original bell ringers were recruited to the new team. [31]

Personal life

In 1993, Faull married Michael Duddridge, [32] a hospital doctor. [17]



In 2014, Faull was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree by the University of Gloucestershire "for her outstanding contribution to the church and her work for the equality of women". [33] On 20 March 2015, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree by the University of Chester "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Ministry in this country, in particular in recognition of her roles as Dean of Leicester and Dean of York". [34] [35] On 17 July 2015, she was awarded an honorary degree by the University of York. [36]

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  1. "First woman provost in England". ACNS. 25 March 2000. Retrieved 31 January 2020.
  2. 1 2 Who's Who 2012 – FAULL, Vivienne Frances
  3. 1 2 "Vivienne Frances Faull" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  4. "'I'm not sure I see myself in a mitre'", The Telegraph, 28 August 2001. Accessed 20 May 2014
  5. Debrett's People of Today London,2008 Debrett's, ISBN   978-1-870520-95-9
  6. Diocese of York website 18 October 2016
  7. "Leicester City Council – Cllr Phil Swift". Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  8. bnet UK
  9. BBC News – Faull appointed Dean of York
  10. "York Minster – Installation of the new Dean of York". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  11. "Vivienne Faull: a pioneer tipped to be the first female bishop", The Guardian, 16 Feb 2014. Accessed 6 November 2014
  12. Pigott, Robert (14 July 2014). "Saying yes to women bishops". BBC News . Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  13. "First female bishop consecrated". BBC News. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  14. 1 2 "Bristol's first female bishop installed". BBC News. 20 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  15. "Queen appoints new Bishop of Bristol". GOV.UK. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  16. York Minster — Acting Dean of York (Accessed 29 June 2018)
  17. 1 2 "Very Revd Vivienne Faull announced as the next Bishop of Bristol". Diocese of Bristol. 15 May 2018. Archived from the original on 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  18. "Consecration of Vivienne Faull as Bishop of Bristol". Diocese of Bristol. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
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  20. Kings, Graham (September 2003). "Canal, River and Rapids: Contemporary Evangelicalism in the Church of England". Anvil. 20 (3): 167–184. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  21. "Bishop of Bristol's statement on the proposal regarding same-sex relationships". Diocese of Bristol. 20 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  22. "Dean of York goes to the police over Richard III hate mail". The Telegraph. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  23. "Richard III fan prosecuted for York Minster rant". The Telegraph. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  24. "You think of me as the Enemy in your midst". Hathaways of Haworth. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
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  27. "For whom the bell tolls: York Minster to fall silent as ringers sacked". The Guardian. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  28. "I was a bellringer at York Minster. We want to know why we were sacked". The Guardian. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  29. "MINSTER BELLS: Outspoken critic of bell ringing axing suspended from playing Carillon bells UPDATED 12.40pm". York Press. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  30. "York Minster to fall silent for first time since 1361 after bell ringers axed". The Mirror. 13 October 2016.
  31. York Minster appoints new bell-ringing team after sacking. at Retrieved 30 April 2021.
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  34. "University celebrates 175 years of success with latest graduands". Invest in Cheshire. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  35. "Honorary Graduates 2015". University of Chester. 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  36. "University of York honours 11 for their contribution to society". University of York. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
Church of England titles
Preceded by Provost of Leicester
Succeeded by
as Dean
Preceded by
as Provost
Dean of Leicester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Dean of York
2012 2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Bristol