Photograph of Bishop Chris Goldsmith

Bishop Chris is to leave the Diocese of Truro to head the Church of England’s Ministry Division, it has been announced today (Monday, June 24, 2019).

In a letter to diocesan clergy and lay colleagues, Bishop Chris said it was an announcement he never expected to make. He added that there was no other role within the Church of England for which he would have considered leaving the diocese.

Bishop Chris will play a lead role in supporting the continuing renewal of ministry throughout the Church of England as the church looks to increase the scale and diversity of those called to both lay and ordained ministries.

Bishop Chris succeeds Dr Mandy Ford, interim Director of Ministry, who has been leading the division on secondment from the Diocese of Southwark since September 2018.

“Immense experience and wisdom”

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and the chair of the Church of England’s Ministry Council, said: “I am thrilled that Bishop Chris is to be the next Director of Ministry. He brings immense experience and wisdom to this key national role and has a strong sense of call to this work. We are going through a major process of change within dioceses as we discern sustainable and fruitful patterns of lay and ordained ministries. That change is reflected in Ministry Council as we work to serve the development of ministry across the Church of England. 

“Bishop Chris will bring the gifts, expertise and passion we need to engage faithfully and creatively with what God is calling the Church to be. I very much look forward to us working together.”

“Significant difference”

The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, said: “Bishop Chris has been a tremendous servant of the Diocese of Truro, bringing not only rich experience in ordained ministry, but also a significant background in his previous career in business. He has made a really significant difference to the shape, feel and culture of ministry in this diocese: a legacy that will stand us in good stead in the future and confirms to me that he’s exactly the right person to take on this new role.

“Personally I’m really grateful for the way he ‘held’ the diocese in its recent transition and for the warmth of his welcome to me. We will miss him greatly but wish him and Ellie all God’s very best as they head back ‘up country’ into this exciting new phase of life and ministry.”

“Excited by clear call of God”

Of his appointment, Bishop Chris said: “I am profoundly excited by the clear call of God to play my part in the realisation of the bishops’ emerging vision for the ministry of the whole people of God. Right across the Church of England and the many institutions and partner organisations with which we work there is a renewed energy, creativity and momentum around the task of mobilising the whole people of God for the Mission of God.

“Our mission to the nation depends upon women and men from all backgrounds responding to the love and the call of God to play their part in His Mission. Many of our churches feel constrained and inhibited by a scarcity of ministry capacity. Together we need to discover and release the abundant provision of God to his church.”

William Nye, Secretary General to the Archbishops’ Council, said: “I too am delighted by the appointment of Bishop Chris to the important role of Director of Ministry. This is a significant time in the development of the ministries needed for the renewal and reform of the Church. Chris brings great skills, experience and understanding to the task of discerning how those ministries need to evolve now and in the future.”

Bishop Chris will take up his new post in September.