New bishop of Bradford announced

Image caption,
Bishop Nick Baines studied languages at the University of Bradford

A new bishop of Bradford has been named just a week after a shake-up of the Church in West Yorkshire was proposed.

The Rt Rev Nick Baines, 53, currently Bishop of Croydon, will be the 10th bishop of Bradford, following the retirement of David James last July.

His appointment comes a week after the Church of England proposed merging the three West Yorkshire dioceses, Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield.

He said he recognised this was "a pivotal time" for the Bradford diocese.

The Dioceses Commission report proposes the creation of a new large diocese split into five areas - Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield - each with its own area bishop.

'Culturally diverse'

Bishop Baines said: "Bradford is a place I came to love when I studied modern languages at the university 30 years ago.

"I look forward very much to working with and serving the churches and communities of this culturally diverse diocese in the years ahead.

"Urban and rural communities face different challenges and I look forward to getting to know the whole diocese as quickly as possible.

"The unique interfaith relationships in this part of West Yorkshire are vital to a flourishing society and I will engage fully in developing them for the common good."

A keen blogger, the new bishop said: "New media offer access to people like me, who might otherwise seem to belong to a remote and mysterious world.

"They also enable us to engage outside our self-selected safe communities, be present in a space where a different sort of conversation can be had... between people, groups and ideas that in a previous generation might not have been possible."

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