Bishop of Kirkstall to retire announce Leeds Episcopal

The Anglican Diocese of Leeds are losing a beloved member of their community today following the announced retirement of the Bishop of Kirkstall.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:45 pm

Rt Revd Paul Slater, whose role covers the Leeds Episcopal Area, started in the role as the then Bishop of Richmond in 2015, before the title changed to Bishop of Kirkstall in 2018.

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In a statement released following the announcement Bishop Paul said: “It has been a privilege to serve as an Area Bishop alongside Bishop Nick as the young Diocese of Leeds has taken shape,”

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Bishop Paul is to retire in January having held the position as Bishop of Kirkstall since 2015.

“During this last six years, I have ministered together with many fantastic lay and clergy colleagues in the Leeds Episcopal Area, both within and outside the Church of England, and I shall miss their friendship and encouragement.”

Originally hailing from Bradford, Bishop Paul attended Bradford Grammar School and after graduating in chemistry from Corpus Christi, Oxford, trained for the ministry at St John’s College in Durham.

Bishop Paul’s close ties with the ministry in Leeds began back in the 1980s when he worked with St George’s Crypt to support the city’s homeless.

As Area Bishop, he was instrumental in securing Strategic Development Funding to create five Resource Churches within the Leeds boundary, the first being established at St Paul’s, Ireland Wood in 2017.

Bishop Paul has been central to an effort to connect the church to those in Sri Lanka even visiting the country in early 2020.

Paying tribute today, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, said: “Bishop Paul has spent his whole ordained ministry in his home area of West Yorkshire and has served in many capacities. He faithfully worked through the diocesan reorganisation knowing that it would make him redundant.

“Since 2014 he has served as archdeacon and then Bishop of Kirkstall, leading the Leeds Episcopal Area and, among other things, sponsoring ordination candidates for the diocese.”

Bishop Baines continued by paying tribute to his friend's wisdom and courage stating: “I cannot speak too highly of Paul’s courage, tenacity and faithful diligence. I will miss his quiet wisdom, appropriate challenge and committed service and trust he and Beverley will enjoy a long and happy retirement after a rigorous and demanding last decade.”

During his time as the Bishop of Kirkstall, Bishop Paul has worked hard to develop relationships with the church diocese in Sri Lanka, and led a developmental visit to the country in early 2020, just prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He is due to present the proposed diocesan Carbon Net Zero plan, entitled 'Saving Creation: Strategic Action to Combat Climate Change,' to Synod on Saturday, October 16 amid a string of commitments before officially retiring on January 22, 2022.

Bishop Paul is retiring to spend time with his beloved wife Beverley, and their two grown up sons.

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