Her Majesty the Queen has appointed the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, currently Dean of York, as the 57th Bishop of Bristol.
Speaking at the Barton Hill Settlement in Bristol following the announcement, Viv said: “This is where my family comes from, and so coming here feels like I am returning home.
“It was 24 years ago that Bristol was the first diocese to ordain women as priests, and I want the Diocese to continue to show that pioneering courage.
“I look forward to leading a church that shows the love of Christ to everyone, whoever they are.”
Following a visit to the homeless drop-in at St Luke’s Church, Barton Hill in inner city Bristol, the Bishop Designate is spending the day at a village church in Wiltshire, a Church School in Chippenham, and the newly announced Pattern Church in Swindon. She will end her day at the mother Church of the Diocese, Bristol Cathedral.
Viv’s mother was brought up in Bristol – her grandparents lived there all their lives; Viv herself was brought up in a village on the Wirral. She taught with Church Mission Society in North India and youth work in Everton before training at St John’s College, Nottingham. She was ordained a deaconess and returned to Liverpool. Amidst a variety of ministry roles, she was ordained priest in 1994.
Viv became the first woman to lead a Church of England Cathedral as Provost and then Dean of Leicester in 2000. In that role, she was incumbent of St Martin, Leicester, a city centre parish with significant diversity and areas of deprivation. In 2012, she was appointed Dean of York.
The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd John Sentamu, said:
“I rejoice with the Diocese of Bristol that Her Majesty the Queen has accepted the nomination of the Dean of York, the Very Revd Vivienne Faull, to be the 57th Bishop of Bristol.
“Dean Faull leads by following Jesus’ way with insight and oversight, with a readiness to be led as well as to lead. She has been a great Dean for York, taking risks for the Kingdom of God, for example persuading the Dean and Chapter to put on the Mystery Plays inside the Minster.
“She has made the Minster a great home of hospitality, worship and friendliness. A comment I will never forget was made by the Head of one of the Minster’s biggest departments who had been prepared for confirmation. I asked “Why confirmation now?” and the reply came back with a beaming smile, “Because the Dean has, and is, making God credible and believable.
“Dean Viv will leave us with our prayers and love, and I am sure she knows that she will be greatly missed.”
Rt Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon, also welcomed the announcement. He said: “Having begun to get to know Viv, I am seeing many of the qualities and experience she will bring to this next season of ministry in our Diocese. As the next Bishop of Bristol, Viv will help us to build on what is and has been fruitful while enabling us to make progress in areas where fresh approaches are needed.”
Viv is married to Michael, a hospital consultant.
Viv will be consecrated Bishop at a service at St Paul’s Cathedral on 3 July and installed as Bishop of Bristol at Bristol Cathedral in the autumn.