Welcome for new Rector of Leeds Minster and Bishop of Richmond

The Revd Canon Sam Corley, formerly Precentor of Bradford Cathedral, has been licensed this week as Rector Designate of Leeds Minster.

Clergy and lay people joined civic dignitaries (including the Lord-Lieutenant and the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, and the Lord Mayors of Leeds and of Bradford) for a service that was also a welcome to the city for the Bishop of Richmond, the Rt Revd Paul Slater.

Bishop Nick says, “I’m pleased beyond words that Sam Corley is to lead Leeds Minster and help shape the Church of England's engagement with this great city. He brings experience and great skill to this new ministry and I look forward to his strong contribution to life in the city and the churches."

Sam Corley says, "I’m delighted to take up this new role. There are huge opportunities for the life and witness of the Minster at the heart of the city and as the principal church in the Leeds Episcopal Area.  The parish enjoys a unique position on the edge – between prosperity and poverty, between the worshipping minority and the unchurched majority and it has a great contribution to make, especially as the city reflects upon what it means to aspire to be ‘Best City’ by 2030.

“Above all I am passionate about people discovering the hope that God makes available to us through Jesus Christ. Too often this is reduced to something offered just to individuals: I long to see whole communities, cities and nations explore something of the riches of what is offered to us through Christ.”

Sam had been Precentor of Bradford Cathedral since 2011. He was also Senior Chaplain to the University of Bradford and Faith Advisor to the Lord Mayor of Bradford. He read theology at the University of Durham and taught history in Surrey before training for the ministry at St John’s College Nottingham. In 2004 he was ordained in the Diocese of Blackburn, where he became a parish priest and Assistant Diocesan Missioner.

Sam sits on numerous committees in the Diocese and also has some national responsibilities. Since 2009 he has been a Bishops’ Advisor on Bishops’ Advisory Panels – the process by which candidates are selected for ordination. He has been a Director of the Association of English Cathedrals and has delivered training in governance for clergy and lay people who are new to their roles in leading Cathedrals.  

Sam is married to Claire, who is herself training for ordained ministry within the Church of England, and they have three young children, Nathanael (9), Martha (7) and Micah (5).  

Having spent much of his childhood working on a farm, Sam has a deep love of the countryside and nature, and the family has hens, a dog and “an ever-increasing colony of guinea pigs”.

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