At 10am this morning (2 July) Downing Street announced that the Reverend Anne Elizabeth Hollinghurst is to take the position of Suffragan Bishop of Aston in the Diocese of Birmingham.
Anne is currently vicar of St Peter’s Church in St Albans, a ‘small, historic city’, where she describes her role as ‘growing a vision for an outward-focused mission and ministry’. Previously, she has worked as a youth worker in West Sussex and then Nottingham, where both Anne and her husband Steve explored a call to ordained ministry.
In 1999, after a joint curacy in another challenging area of inner city Nottingham, Anne and Steve moved to Derby where Anne was Chaplain at the University of Derby and Derby Cathedral for six years. Steve pursued a different path and is currently a part-time tutor with the Church Army and a half-time consultant, trainer and researcher in mission and contemporary culture.
Having moved to Manchester in 2005, Anne served as a Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral and as Chaplain to the Bishop of Manchester where she says she ‘loved the city centre Cathedral ministry, but also had a privileged opportunity to learn a lot about the challenges and opportunities of a complex urban Diocese’.
Anne describes herself as both ‘contemplative’ and a ‘want-to-make-it-happen’ person who finds walking and being outdoors ‘inspiring and refreshing’, and is keen on environmental issues. Her other interests include reading, the arts and real ale pubs.
Following the translation of Bishop Andrew Watson to Bishop of Guildford in November 2014, Anne will become the tenth Bishop of Aston.
Anne says: 'I hope to contribute my experience and practice in mission in a whole variety of contexts, in walking alongside the many clergy and lay people of the Diocese, who are doing all sorts of wonderful and exciting things—helping to focus in together on God’s priorities and God’s call. A lot of that is about encouragement and in the realising and releasing of gifts. Each step of my journey has been enormously exciting and stretching and now I take a rather large *gulp* as I look towards this next step in ministry to which I believe God is calling me.’
The Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, said 'I am delighted that Anne has accepted the invitation to join in leading the Mission of God across Birmingham and region. She comes with a wealth of experience of nurturing discipleship and growing the Church. I look forward to having a new episcopal colleague and to seeing faith in Jesus Christ flourish in this generation.'
Click below to watch a video interview with Anne: