First Female Bishop of Peterborough Announced

Rt Rev Debbie Sellin has been appointed as the first female bishop of Peterborough.

Debbie’s appointment was confirmed Thursday by Downing Street. “The King has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Deborah Sellin, Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, for election as Bishop of Peterborough, in succession to The Right Reverend Donald Allister, following his retirement,” a September 28 release from Downing Street read.

Bishop Debbie, currently Bishop of Southampton, will be installed at a service in Peterborough Cathedral in early 2024. She will become the first-ever female bishop of Peterborough, covering the city as well as Northamptonshire and Rutland.

Welcoming Bishop Debbie to her new role, John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth, said, “I am thrilled that Debbie has agreed to serve as the next Bishop of Peterborough.

“She has great experience of bringing unity and identity to a large and diverse diocese, a heart to champion young people and support those at the margins of society, and a mission to see our parishes and their communities thrive.”

Reacting to her appointment, Debbie said, “I’m really attracted to the diversity of the diocese. I want every parish to thrive in the way that God is calling them to, and if I’m able to help parishes in that, that is something I’m very committed to.”

Although “really excited about the new opportunities and new challenges and getting to know the people of Peterborough diocese,” she noted that “there is a bittersweetness in leaving” the Diocese of Winchester she has served since 2019.

“But of course, there is a bittersweetness in leaving. Winchester Diocese is a wonderful place to be where I have encountered beautiful people and beautiful places, and it has been a joy and a huge privilege to minister here,” she said.

“I would be so grateful if you would be praying for me—that I am able to discern who God wants me to be in the new role. And of course, I will be praying for you, and you will be dear to my heart always.”

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