The new Bishop of Manchester

Published: 05 June 2013

The Prime Minister has announced that the next Bishop of Manchester will be the Rt Revd David Walker. He is currently the Bishop of Dudley.

An experienced and highly regarded spiritual leader, Bishop David is passionate about issues that affect social housing, asylum seekers and the benefit cuts. In early 2013 he questioned both the content and presentation of government policy. Bishop David grew up in Greater Manchester and went to Manchester Grammar School.

Bishop David said; "I feel very honoured to have been asked to be the next Bishop of Manchester. I was born and grew up here and I'm delighted that I will now have the opportunity to give something back to the place that gave me my start in life. I am looking forward to working with the people and communities of what is one of the most richly diverse places in the world. I believe that the Christian faith and the Church of England have a great contribution to make to that richness and I am thrilled at being given a role that will allow me to be part of that.

"I ask the people of Manchester to hold me in their prayers as I prepare to take up my new role here."

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Manchester said; “Four candidates were interviewed for this post. During interviews, Bishop David emerged as the ideal choice to be the next Bishop of Manchester. Following prayer and reflection it was agreed to ask the Prime Minister to appoint Bishop David and we are delighted that he has agreed.”

Biography

David Stuart Walker. was born on 30 May 1957 and educated at Manchester Grammar School and King's College, Cambridge. He took part in the International Mathematical Olympiad - the pinnacle of mathematical competition among high school students - in 1975.

After a period of study at Queen's College, Birmingham he was ordained in 1983. His career began with a curacy at St Mary Handsworth, after which he was Team Vicar at Maltby, then Bramley before becoming a bishop. He has been Bishop of Dudley since 2000. He is a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndwr University.

David is married to Sue and they have two children.

Bishop David’s interests

Housing

Bishop David has particular experience in Social Housing, having served on the Board of the National Housing Federation from 1996 to 2002. He is a former Chair of South Yorkshire Housing Association and of Safe Haven (a non-profit asylum seeker accommodation service provider).

He currently chairs a small Special Needs Housing Association in Dudley which works particularly with faith based groups. He served on the Housing Management Policy Action Team set up by the Social Exclusion Unite, and wrote a regular column in Housing Today. Until 20120 he was Chair of HACT (Housing Authorities Charitable Trust) which is one of the leading national charities, working with the voluntary sector to help housing providers better meet the needs of tenants. He was also chair of CHADD (Churches Housing Association of Dudley and District) - Church-based special needs housing associations. 

Diversity

Bishop David served on the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights panel for the College of Policing and until recently was on a similar body for the Homes and Communities Agency.

Immigration

Bishop David recently questioned the way politicians were exaggerating the negative impact of immigration, which he said was "wholly disproportionate" to the real threat.

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/23/immigration-fears-stoked-politicians-bishop  

www.politics.co.uk/news/2013/03/24/bishop-cameron-has-betrayed-easter  

Benefits

Bishop David was one of 43 bishops who signed a letter arguing that benefit cuts would have 'deeply disproportionate effect' on children.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21734140  

How the bishop was chosen

Hundreds of people attended meeting to help identify the type of person the next Bishop of Manchester needed to be and to help explore what the task was for the next decade. From this process a Statement of Need was drawn up. A shortlist of candidates was drawn up and four candidates were interviewed.


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