Former Bishop of Southwark to be 'Mentor Bishop'

Until a Diocesan Bishop is appointed for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, the Archbishop of York has appointed the Rt Revd Tom Butler as 'Mentor Bishop' to give episcopal advice to Programme Director John Tuckett.

Bishop Tom, who's well known for his Thoughts for the Day on Radio 4, is the former Bishop of Southwark and, having retired in 2010, now lives in Wakefield. He knows the area well: he gained his doctorate in electronics from Leeds University and trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield.

John Tuckett says, "Bishop Tom has a wealth of expertise and experience, and it will be hugely valuable for me to have someone to go to for independent advice, not least because, as the former Bishop of Southwark, he understands how a diocese with an area model works."

The archbishop is also to appoint Bishop Tom as the Chair of the Shadow Board of Finance for the new Diocese. And Bradford Diocesan Synod has given its consent for Bishop Tom to become Acting Diocesan Bishop during Bishop Nick Baines's sabbatical, from February to April.
Bishop Tom says, "The creation of the new diocese brings great opportunity for mission and ministry in West Yorkshire and the Dales, but change is never comfortable, and during the time of transition, I will do what I can to ensure that nothing valuable is lost as we all go into a challenging future. 
"I enjoyed conducting the ordination retreat for the Diocese of Bradford earlier in the year and look forward to exercising episcopal ministry in the diocese during Bishop Nick's well earned sabbatical. It is turning out to be rather a busy retirement!"
The new diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales comes into being on Easter Day, 20 April 2014. It's expected that the name of the Diocesan Bishop will be announced in February 2014 and that he will be in post by the summer.

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