Archdeacon of Leicester to be Bishop of Bedford

last updated on: 4th Mar 2012

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens is delighted hear the news from 10 Downing Street this morning that the next Bishop of Bedford, in the Diocese of St Albans, is to be the Venerable Richard Atkinson, (pictured with Archbishop Tutu) currently Archdeacon of Leicester.
Bishop Tim said “I will personally be very sad to see Richard leave the Diocese of Leicester, as he has been an excellent colleague over many years, who has brought real creative energy to his Archdeaconry and the wider Diocese in so many ways. I am however very happy to see Richard’s talents and skills used by the Church in this new role in the Diocese of St Albans, and know that the we will all want to wish Richard, Helen and their family well.”

Richard has nearly thirty years’ experience in ordained ministry. Since 2002 he has been Archdeacon of Leicester with responsibility for the City of Leicester and rural east Leicestershire. He is the founder Chair of St Philip’s Centre, established by the Diocese to coordinate and enhance its engagement with people of other faiths. Richard has also chaired the major redevelopment of the former Leicester Grammar School building into St Martins House, providing new offices, a conference venue and outreach facilities for the Diocese and Cathedral of Leicester.

During his time in Leicester, Richard was the Chair of the Braunstone New Deal for Communities where he led a successful turn-round, taking it from near failure to national acclaim.  This regeneration work followed on the back of similar work in Rotherham and Sheffield. In 2002 Richard was awarded an OBE for ‘services to unemployed people in Rotherham’.
He says “I am very much looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities that being the Bishop of Bedford will bring. At the same time Helen and I will deeply miss this Diocese. It has been a great privilege to be part of such a good team in a City and County where God has shaped me in so many ways."
There will be a service of farewell in Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 28 April at 6.00 pm. Details of how to acquire tickets for that event will be published soon. Contribution to a diocesan gift to Richard cheques should be made payable to Leicester Diocesan Board of Finance (with Richard's name on the reverse of the cheque) and sent to Mr Jonathan Kerry, Diocesan Secretary at St Martins House, 7 Peacock Lane, Leicester LE1 5PZ. 

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