Posted on the 26th Mar 2014 in the category Statements

As bishops, we have a pastoral and teaching office, as ‘stewards of the mysteries of God’ who are ‘called to serve and care for the flock of Christ’.


We endorse both the statement issued by the College of Bishops of the Church of England in response to the Pilling Report and the House of Bishops’ Statement of Pastoral Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage.


We rejoice in the presence of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people within the parts of Christ’s flock that are committed to our care. We wish to underline these words of the statement from the College of Bishops: ‘We are united in acknowledging the need for the Church to repent for the homophobic attitudes it has sometimes failed to rebuke and the need to stand firm against homophobia wherever and whenever it is to be found. We are united in seeking to be faithful to the Scriptures and tradition of the Church and in seeking to make a loving, compassionate and respectful response to gay men and women within Church and society.’


We uphold the Christian doctrine of marriage as set out in the liturgy and canons of the Church of England. The Church of England is only ‘part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church’: as such, it would have no right to make fundamental changes to a sacrament that belongs to the whole Church.


We encourage our clergy and people to participate in the conversations about human sexuality that will be facilitated, contributing to them on the basis of catholic moral and pastoral theology, as well as of their own experience. We note that the outcome of the conversations is not predetermined.


As bishops of the Society we shall continue to reflect together on these issues, to pray about them, and to listen to the views of our clergy and people.


On behalf of the Council



The Rt Revd Tony Robinson

Bishop of Pontefract

Chairman of the Council of Bishops

26 March 2014

Posted on the 18th Mar 2014 in the category News

The Right Reverend Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops, will join professors and knights of the realm among the distinguished people who are to be honoured in 2014 by the University of Huddersfield as they receive the title Honorary Doctor of the University at ceremonies taking place in July.


Tony Robinson is the Bishop of Pontefract, but will also be the interim area Bishop of Huddersfield, temporarily occupying an all-new Church of England post, created as part of the new Diocese of Leeds. Bishop Tony is a former teacher who moved to West Yorkshire in 1997, first as Archdeacon of Pontefract and since 2002 as Bishop of Pontefract. He chairs Kirklees Faiths Forum and is co-Chair of North Kirklees Interfaith Council working with Muslims and Christians in Dewsbury and Batley. He was a founder member of Interfaith Kirklees, which works with schools to provide education and promote community cohesion, and also chairs the Wakefield Interfaith Group.

Posted on the 11th Mar 2014 in the category News

Last week Bishop Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops, visited Gojra in Pakistan to lay foundation stones for an interfaith clean water project.  He travelled with Lay Canon of Wakefield Yaqub Masih.


As well as laying the foundation stones for the water project, Bishop Tony met Christian leaders of different denominations, broadcast on TV, met the President of Pakistan, the Governor of the Punjab, and Health and Housing ministers, and preached to over 12,000 people at one church gathering.  He also met with the Grand Imam of the second largest mosque in Pakistan.


On his return Bishop Tony said, "The visit to Pakistan exceeded our expectations. The launch of the water project from funds raised by Christians and Muslims here in England was well received by the Christians and Muslims in Pakistan.  Forty percent of deaths in Pakistan are attributed to driniking unclean water often containing dangereous amounts of arsenic. We are committed to trying to raise further funds."


Bishop Tony’s diary is a unique opportunity to see and hear news of Pakistan from a different perspective.  At the end of Bishop Tony’s diary are links to reports of his visit in the press in Pakistan. Read it here.

Posted on the 11th Mar 2014 in the category News

It has been announced by Buckingham Palace that Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to appoint the Reverend David Nicholson to be a Chaplain to Her Majesty. He continues as Vicar of Cudworth, in the Diocese of Wakefield. He is also a member of the Council of the Additional Curates Society.


Bishop Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Father David Nicholson has been honoured by the Queen as one of her Chaplains. David has been a faithful and hard-working priest over the past thirty-one years. This is a fitting recognition of his priestly ministry.”

Posted on the 7th Mar 2014 in the category Announcements

Bishop John Goddard, has announced that he will be retiring as Bishop of Burnley on 19 July 2014.


On hearing the news, Bishop Tony Robinson, the Chairman of the Council of Bishops, said: "Bishop John has announcement his retirement from active service. He will be missed by clergy and lay people in the Diocese of Blackburn and beyond. He has been one of our leading bishops over the past thirteen years making significant contributions at General Synod and in the House of Bishops. We wish him and Vivienne a long and well deserved retirement."


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