Philip North appointed as next diocesan bishop of Blackburn

Harriet Sherwood writes that a prominent Church of England cleric who is opposed to the ordination of female priests has been appointed as a senior bishop after two earlier attempts were thwarted by protests.

Philip North, the junior bishop of Burnley, was named by Downing St as the next diocesan bishop of Blackburn, with the appointment approved by King Charles. Moves to promote him in 2012 and 2017 failed after vigorous protests by women in the C of E and others over his theological position on female clerics.

North said he was committed to growing the church, being “an ever-stronger voice for justice, especially for the poorest”, and putting children and young people at the heart of the church’s mission.

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Photograph: Diocese of Blackburn

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