New bishop promises to be a good listener THE new Bishop of Southampton has pledged to listen to people in the community when he starts his role.

The Rev Canon Jonathan Frost, who was appointed by Downing Street yesterday to cover the southern part of the Diocese of Winchester, said he would use his two ears and one mouth – in that proportion.

He now plans to move to the area with teacher wife Christine and their three teenage children aged 18, 16 and 14. He is due to start the role in November where he will serve Southampton, Eastleigh, the New Forest, Romsey, Christchurch and Bournemouth areas.

The 45-year-old said: “I am really very honoured and proud to be asked to serve as Bishop of Southampton in the Diocese of Winchester and of course there are mixed feelings of both excitement and trepidation over the role.

“I am drawn to the rich variety of contexts represented in an area which embraces coastal, urban, town and rural communities.

The Rev Canon Frost, a keen sportsman, added: “I think at this stage my task will be to listen – to use my two ears and one mouth in this proportion.

“I will want to listen to those on the ground who know the histories and contours of each particular place. I believe the stories we tell about ourselves and our communities matter enormously; they are part of what shapes our identities and disclose points of connection and possibility into which the Gospel can speak afresh. I look forward to hearing the stories that matter as together we learn to unearth the hidden treasure of God’s kingdom.”

Yesterday the Rev Canon Frost toured projects in the diocese including a Christian children’s residential holiday project in Christchurch and meetings with civic leaders and representatives from other faith groups to familiarise himself with the area he will be responsible for.

The Rev Canon Frost, who has been on holiday in the area “and loved it”, said: “I have noticed that people here have a strong interest in the church and spiritual matters. As bishop, I will hope to make journeys with people to help them unearth their spiritual treasures and build bridges.

The new bishop grew up in Surrey and has served as a Residentiary Canon of Guildford Cathedral for the past eight years alongside his work as Chaplain to Surrey University.

Canon Frost is a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder at Fulham Football Club, enjoys running and has completed two London marathons for WaterAid.

He also enjoys live music, reading and is a fan of TV series West Wing.

The Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, the Bishop of Winchester, welcomed the announcement that Canon Frost will join the team. He said: “I look forward enormously to Jonathan Frost joining us in November to take up the exciting and demanding opportunities of this post.”

The Rev Canon Frost will be consecrated as a Bishop in the Church of England on Tuesday, November 30 at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

He will then be formally commissioned and welcomed into the Diocese of Winchester as the new Bishop of Southampton at the Evensong Service at Winchester Cathedral on Saturday, December 4.

The new appointment comes after the Rt Rev Paul Butler moved to become Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham in October last year.