Bishop of Grantham to stand down in September

Bishop of Grantham Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis.
Bishop of Grantham Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis.

The Rt Revd Dr Tim Ellis is to stand down as suffragan Bishop of Grantham after nearly 13 years in the Diocese of Lincoln.

After five years as Archdeacon of Stow and Lindsey in the north of Lincolnshire and eight years in the south of the county, he will complete his work in the Diocese of Lincoln on September 26, the 37th anniversary of his ordination in Manchester Cathedral, and shortly after his 60th birthday.

Speaking on the announcement, Bishop Tim said: “Life in Lincolnshire in the past decade and more has been challenging and fun, years in which both the Church and the historic County have faced great challenges and adaptations. It has been a privilege to be part of the ongoing story.”

After studying theology at King’s College, London and St Augustine’s College, Canterbury, Tim was ordained deacon in Manchester and served in the parish of St John, Old Trafford, as assistant curate: “A particular challenge for someone who is a lifelong supporter of Sheffield Wednesday,” he joked.

Thereafter, at the age of 26, and believed to be the youngest Vicar in the Church of England at the time, he became priest of St Thomas’s Church in Salford, combining this with work as a Chaplain to Salford College of Technology in the city. After overseeing considerable works of beautification on the church interior, he developed a lifelong interest in church architecture, in which he has a Doctor of Philosophy degree from York University. Moving to Sheffield, he then took up a post at St Leonard’s, Norwood, a Council Estate to the north east of the city. There, once more, he led the restoration of the church building and also chaired the Diocesan Advisory Committee, a body which manages the development and restoration of church buildings in the Diocese. There, too, he was involved in the aftermath of the tragic Hillsborough Disaster.

As he prepares to leave for his hometown of Sheffield, Bishop Tim is thankful that he will still exercise a role in the Diocese of Lincoln as Assistant Bishop.

He said: “Looking back over the past few years, I remember with great fondness the Archdeacon’s Visitation service we organised in Grimsby Town Football Club, and also the church communities I have been honoured to help to re-shape their church buildings for modern use.”

“As Bishop of Grantham, I was privileged to be Chair of the Voluntary Sector Consortium for some years and also President of Lincoln MIND. Latterly, I have been proud to act as President of Lincolnshire Rural Housing Association and Patron of the Be-Attitude Project for the homeless and dispossessed of Lincoln, to be Chairperson of the Lincolnshire Community Land Trust and an associate of the Luminous community (formerly the U2charist Project) which seeks to promote and publicise justice issues.”

Dr Ellis will retain some of his present work, notably being an Non-Executive Director of TrueBlueSky, a social enterprise project seeking to create capital for re-investing in community projects. He will also continue as Chairperson of Living Stones, a consortium of professionals offering consultancy on church growth and development. In October, he will be keynote speaker and chaplain in Rome to the Convocation of American Episcopal Churches in Europe as they seek to catch a vision for their future.

Dr Ellis is married to Susan, a Special Needs Co-ordinator at Beck School in Sheffield, and they have three grown up children - Rachael, Christopher and Simon.

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: “Tim has faithfully served the Diocese of Lincoln for almost 13 years, and we are very grateful for his work and ministry, particularly his expertise in church buildings, and his work in the challenging urban areas of the Diocese.

“We keep Tim and his family in our prayers as he prepares to move on.”