THE area dean of Bournemouth has welcomed the appointment of a new Bishop of Winchester.

The current Bishop of Truro, Rt. Revd Philip Mounstephen, was announced into the post this morning, July 6, at St Marks C of E School in Southampton.

Bishop Philip will be the 98th Bishop of Winchester, overseeing an historic diocese that stretches from Odiham in Hampshire to Bournemouth, encompassing all of Christchurch.

Area dean of Bournemouth, the Reverend Canon Michael Smith, said he was ‘delighted’ with the appointment of Bishop Philip to the post.

“It’s been a long wait since his predecessor, Tim Dakin, stepped back from ministry in May 2021,” Canon Smith said.

“Bishop Philip’s experience in parish ministry and as a bishop will be invaluable in leading the diocese of Winchester and I’m looking forward to working with him as we work with and for the communities in and around Bournemouth.”

Bishop Philip was born in Hampshire and studied English Literature at the University of Southampton.

He was ordained in 1988 and was appointed as Bishop of Truro in 2018. “It’s been a great privilege to serve the Diocese of Truro, where my family roots are, but I’m delighted to have been invited now to serve as Bishop of Winchester, a place which has very great personal significance for me,” he said.

“I look forward very much to leading us all on in loving service of our God and of his world.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby added that he was ‘delighted’ that Bishop Philip had ‘accepted the call’ to the seat.

“Bishop Philip is committed to working together with the Church and people of the whole Diocese to take forward the mission of God,” Archbishop Welby said.

“He will also make a significant contribution as he takes his seat in the House of Lords, especially on issues of freedom of religion and belief”.

The seat is one of the five most powerful bishoprics in the country and the Bishop is automatically a member of the House of Lords.

Bishop Philip will be installed in Winchester Cathedral later this year.