Pupils hear first of new bishop

PUBLISHED: 10:16 24 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 25 August 2010



THE Bishop of an historic diocese has been revealed at a school named after one of his predecessors.

THE Bishop of an historic diocese has been revealed at a school named after one of his predecessors.

The Right Reverend James Langstaff was revealed as the new Bishop of Rochester at a ceremony at Bishop Justus School, in Magpie Hall Lane, Bromley, last Tuesday.

Rt Revd Langstaff, 52, who is currently Bishop of Lynn in Cornwall, will become the 107th Bishop of Rochester - which covers the borough of Bexley - later this year on a date yet to be announced.

He succeeds the Rt Revd Dr Nazir-Ali, who retired in September last year, 10 years before his official retirement age. Speaking to children at Bishop Justus after the announcement, Bishop James said: "Being appointed Bishop of Rochester is a huge privilege and also a weighty responsibility.

"I greatly look forward to sharing in the mission and ministry of the church in the diocese, getting to know the wider communities and their people and seeing the things of God's kingdom grow."

The Anglican Diocese of Rochester is one of the oldest of the Canterbury Province. Its first Bishop was Justus in 604, the namesake of the Bromley Common school.

The diocese covers all of north and west Kent and includes the boroughs of Bexley and Bromley, as well as Gravesham, Dartford and Sevenoaks.

Bishop James hopes to draw on his wealth of experience from serving in both inner-city Birmingham and as Bishop of the more rural area of Lynn in Norfolk. He told the Times: "I have interest in social affairs and housing that began in Birmingham, an area of clear need. I am now chair of an organisation that provides housing for 50,000 homes in the east of England. I have a conviction that this is what the church is all about. One of the advantages of my background is that I bring experience from both urban and rural areas, and a lot of what I have been doing will be applicable here."

The Bishop designate will be supported by his wife, Bridget, who has a background of nursing in prisons and now works with the National Treatment Agency for substance abuse.

They also have two grown-up children - Alasdair, 26, and Helen, 24.

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