This could get confusing: the Church of England has appointed a new Vicar of Croydon, A. Bishop. And he’s a Canon.
Canon Andrew Bishop has been announced by the Diocese of Southwark as the replacement for Canon Colin Boswell.
It is two years since Canon Boswell retired from his influential position at Croydon Minster, with its broader responsibilities with the borough’s largest landowners, the Whitgift Foundation, and its private schools.
The delay in finding a suitable replacement is understood to have been caused because the original appointee had the job offer withdrawn, under circumstances which the Bishop of Southwark’s office has refused to divulge. While the possibility existed that the candidate might challenge the decision to retract the appointment, the church was unable to appoint any other candidate.
In the interim, services and other activities at Croydon Minster have been supervised by Lee Taylor, dubbed “Croydon’s coolest vicar”, who combined his love of Music Hall theatre with thrusting, publicity-hungry activities (or “church outreach activities”, as some might prefer it), including blessing the beer pumps at a local boozer.
Canon Bishop, 48, is expected to take up his new role some time in the next month. It is thought to be unlikely that there will be any pub blessing ceremonies carried out in the presence of local newspaper photographers in the immediate future.
Croydon Minster’s website states, “We are delighted to announce that the Reverend Canon Dr Andrew Bishop, presently Residentiary Canon of Guildford Cathedral and Anglican Chaplain to the University of Surrey in the Diocese of Guildford, has been appointed Priest-in-Charge of Croydon Minster.
“We are very excited that Fr Andrew and his family will be joining us at this time of so many new developments in Croydon, both civic and pastoral.
“Fr Andrew was ordained in St Paul’s Cathedral in 1996 and served at parishes in the London Diocese and the Diocese of Winchester before moving to Guildford Cathedral in 2011. He is married to Alice and they have four children.”
Brought up in Northamptonshire, as a student Bishop spent six months working in Bangladesh, and has retained any interest in the country and its people.
Working at the University of Surrey, his profile states, “led to a deep interest in sleep research”, which should come in handy in a church sited next to the busy Roman Way dual carriageway.
Meanwhile, another influential figure in the church in Croydon, is stepping down.
Rev Hilary Fife has been the chaplain at Mayday Hospital for 27 years, dealing with the grief and trauma of patients and their families through often the most difficult of times.
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