Bishop Paul to retire from his Leeds Area role in the New Year

The diocese is to bid farewell to the Rt Revd Paul Slater, Bishop of Kirkstall, who announced his retirement today.

Bishop Paul took on his role, which covers the Leeds Episcopal Area, as Bishop of Richmond in 2015, before the title changed to Bishop of Kirkstall in 2018 and will leave on January 31, 2022.

“It has been a privilege to serve as an Area Bishop alongside Bishop Nick as the young Diocese of Leeds has taken shape,” Bishop Paul said.

“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.”

A Bradfordian, Bishop Paul’s close ties with ministry in Leeds began 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.

In tribute, 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.

“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.”

Bishop Paul has also worked hard to develop relationships with our link diocese in Sri Lanka, and led a developmental visit to the country early in 2020, just before the global Covid-19 pandemic.

He speaks for our bishops on environmental issues, and will help present the proposed diocesan Carbon Net Zero plan, entitled Saving Creation: Strategic Action to Combat Climate Change, to Synod on Saturday, October 16.

Paul was formerly Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven, and before that served all his ministry in the former Diocese of Bradford, including being Archdeacon of Craven, Bishop's Officer for Ministry and Mission and Rector of Haworth.

He attended Bradford Grammar School and after graduating in chemistry from Corpus Christi, Oxford, trained for the ministry at St John’s College in Durham.
Paul is married to Beverley, a manager in the NHS leading service improvement, and they have two grown up sons. His interests include tennis, cricket, cooking and workplace mediation.

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