Bishop Mark Sowerby is to be the next Principal of the College of the Resurrection in succession to Fr Peter Allan CR, who will retire at the end of the academic year. With his wife, Ruth, he will move to Mirfield from the Diocese of Chichester, where he has been Bishop of Horsham since 2009.
Bishop Mark, who has three adult daughters, is no stranger to the north nor, indeed, to Mirfield. Born in Ripon, he trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, served his first curacy in Knaresborough, and after several years in the Blackburn Diocese, spent eight years at St Wilfrid’s, Harrogate. From 1997-2001, Bishop Mark served as the Church of England’s Vocations Officer and as a Selection Secretary for the Ministry Division. More recently he has chaired the national Safeguarding Training Working Group.
Speaking of the appointment, the Chairman of the College Council, Bishop David Walker said, “I am delighted that Bishop Mark has accepted this position. He brings to us a depth of experience as a senior leader in the Church, a passion for the training and flourishing of our clergy, and the ability to respond to opportunities and challenges with both warmth and determination.”
Fr Oswin Gartside CR said, “This is very good news indeed; we are very much looking forward to welcoming Bishop Mark and Ruth to the College. Bishop Mark knows what the contemporary church needs from its clergy. He also knows the Community at Mirfield and the College very well: he will be able to provide continuity in all the right places at a time of necessary change. The College is in good heart and now, building on the firm foundation laid by Fr Peter, we are looking forward to seeing it develop and thrive under Bishop Mark’s leadership. The coming year will be a stimulating time to be an ordinand at Mirfield.”
Bishop Mark said, “I have known the College of the Resurrection for well over 30 years and I am greatly looking forward to playing a part in the formation of outstanding men and women to serve God’s church. Ruth and I are very happy to be returning to Yorkshire and sharing in the life of College and Community.”