The Bishop of Oswestry

The Rt Revd Paul Thomas SSC

Bishop Paul was born and raised in west Wales and received a BA in Medieval English from Cardiff University in 1996 and an MA in 1998.  He trained for ordained ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and was ordained Deacon in 2002 and Priest in 2003.

He served his title at St Mary with Christ Church Wanstead, in the Diocese of Chelmsford, and in 2006 he was appointed Assistant Priest, and later Associate Rector, of St Marylebone in the Diocese of London.  In 2008, he was additionally appointed Chaplain at St Marylebone Secondary School and Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Music.

Bishop Paul was appointed as Vicar of St James Paddington in 2011 and additionally served as Area Dean of Paddington from 2016 to 2021.  Between 2017 and 2019 he also served as Acting Archdeacon of Charing Cross in the Two Cities Area of the Diocese of London.

Bishop Paul was consecrated as the first Bishop of Oswestry on the Feast of Candlemas, 2nd February 2023.

During the vacancy in 2022, the Dioceses Commission approved the change of See from Ebbsfleet to Oswestry.

Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Jonathan Goodall
Ordained in diocese of Oxford in 1989, Jonathan Goodall was ordained as the fifth Bishop of Ebbsfleet in Westminster Abbey on 25 September 2013, where he had served as a minor canon earlier in his ministry. Between times he had served from 1998 as Chaplain and Research Assistant to successive Bishops of Gibraltar in Europe, and then from 2005 at Lambeth Palace as Personal Chaplain and Ecumenical Secretary to Archbishop Rowan Williams and briefly Archbishop Justin Welby. Since becoming bishop he has also been the lead bishop for relations with the Eastern Orthodox churches. He stepped down as bishop in September 2021.

Jonathan Baker
The fourth Bishop of Ebbsfleet was Jonathan Baker, who was consecrated in Southwark Cathedral on 16 June 2011. Prior to his consecration, his entire ministry was spent in the Diocese of Oxford. After six years as Parish Priest of Holy Trinity, Reading, he was appointed as Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, a post he continued to hold during his tenure of the See of Ebbsfleet. During the Spring of 2013, he was translated to the Suffragan See of Fulham, in the Diocese of London.

Andrew Burnham
The third bishop was Andrew Burnham, who was consecrated on S.Andrew’s Day, 2000, having been previously Vice-Principal of S.Stephen’s House, Oxford for six years. Bishop Andrew resigned the See of Ebbsfleet in 2010, in order to join the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham. He was subsequently honoured by Pope Benedict with the honorary title of Monsignor.

Michael Houghton
The second Bishop of Ebbsfleet was Michael Houghton, who was consecrated in Southwark Cathedral in 1998, following ministry in Wellingborough, St Helena and as Vicar of S.Peter, Folkestone. Tragically, he died suddenly late in 1999, after barely two years in office.

John Richards
The first Bishop of Ebbsfleet – and the first Provincial Episcopal Visitor in the Province of Canterbury – was John Richards, who was consecrated in 1994 at the age of 61, following a long and distinguished ministry in the Diocese of Exeter – latterly as Archdeacon of Exeter. A much-loved pastor and friend, he retired in 1998, and died in 2003.