The Reverend Canon David Williams to be new Bishop of Basingstoke

Daily Echo: Reverend Canon David Williams with the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester Reverend Canon David Williams with the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester

The Reverend Canon David Williams, currently Vicar of Christ Church Winchester, will be the new Bishop of Basingstoke, Downing Street announced today.

He will be ordained in a service in Winchester Cathedral on September 19.

David succeeds the Right Reverend Peter Hancock, now the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

He has served in the diocese for the past 13 years, leading Christ Church in the city centre.

Together with his wife Helen, he has played a leading role in growing the church and working closely with the local community, including the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester Prison, and the University.

He has also helped to set up the Street Pastors project in Winchester, helping to reduce crime in the city.

David said: “Over the last 13 years I have grown to know and love the people, the churches and the communities of this area.

“Over that time I’ve met some really inspiring clergy and enjoyed working with many organisations doing great things and changing people’s lives. I want to build on that in this new role.”

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided that David’s consecration as Bishop of Basingstoke will take place at Winchester Cathedral, the first consecration in the city for many years.

David added: “Having the consecration ceremony within the diocese means a great deal. Winchester Diocese is our home so it will be a great honour to be consecrated in our own Cathedral, surrounded by the community, our friends and family. I want to ensure that it will be an event everybody can enjoy.”

The new bishop grew up in East Africa and after completing university he worked for the Church Mission Society in eastern Kenya during a tumultuous period in the country’s history.

There, he witnessed the devastation of drought and famine but also the astonishing tenacity and faith of the growing Christian church.

He was Deputy Headteacher of a village secondary school during those years and he retains close links with the Anglican Church in Uganda, Kenya and Sudan.

David said: “Taking on this role comes with a huge responsibility, North Hampshire embraces many diverse and unique communities both urban and rural.

"Myself and Helen are really looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.”

In welcoming David to his new role, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester said: “I am absolutely delighted that David has been appointed to serve in this new way within the diocese.

“His work over the past thirteen years, his understanding of the challenges and strengths of the local church and the relationships he has forged – both within Winchester and across the diocese - mean he is well-fitted for the task ahead.”

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