Bishop of Woolwich Consecrated at Southwark Cathedral

The new Bishop of Woolwich, The Rt Revd Alastair Cutting, was consecrated on Wednesday 3 July, at Southwark Cathedral, in what he described as “a service full of vision, hope and love”. Previously, Bishop Alastair was Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich, and is the fourteenth Bishop of Woolwich in the Diocese of Southwark. Bishop Alastair succeeds The Rt Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, who died in September last year.

The consecration was attended by ecumenical, interfaith and civic guests, as well as Bishop Alastair’s family and friends. There were clergy, lay ministers and parishioners from across the Diocese of Southwark and beyond, including many from Bishop Alastair’s previous parishes – as well as international guests from India, Zimbabwe and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun said,

I give thanks that Alastair has now been consecrated as Bishop to serve in the Woolwich Episcopal Area and for the path that has brought him to this ministry in the Diocese. I know that he will prioritise our parishes and support our churches in their mission and ministry. Please continue to hold Bishop Alastair and Kay in your prayers.

Bishop Alastair said,

The warm relationships I’ve built with parishes and civic leaders during my time as Archdeacon give me a great head start as I step into the role of Bishop of Woolwich. I am inspired by the wonderful examples set by my predecessors in engaging with the community and sharing faith in creative ways. I’m excited to see what God has in store for us in the Area and I’m looking forward to serving together.

Broadcaster and theologian Dr Elaine Storkey preached at the consecration. She spoke of the ‘enormous joy and privilege’ of being invited to preach at the consecration. She spoke of Bishop Alastair’s commitment to the empowerment of women and his heart for gender justice – as well as his longing for Christians to be united in faith and service across the world.

About The Rt Revd Alastair Cutting:
Alastair grew up in a Christian family in South India, where his parents were doctors in a rural village hospital. He gave his life to Christ at the age of nine and cannot recall ever not being a Christian.

Alastair was educated at Westhill College, Birmingham University, trained for ministry at St John’s College in Nottingham and gained a Masters at Heythrop College, University of London. Although Alastair trained for ministry in an Open Evangelical theological college context, he describes his personal spirituality as more sacramental, informed and nurtured through Celtic and Catholic traditions, too.

He served his title post at All Saints Woodlands in Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield and was ordained priest in 1988. He served as Assistant Curate at Wadsley from 1989 and in 1991 was appointed Chaplain to The Nave Arts Centre and the Town Centre in Uxbridge, in the Diocese of London. In 1996, Alastair was appointed Vicar of Copthorne, West Sussex, in the Diocese of Chichester, and from 2010 he served as Vicar of Henfield and Rector of Shermanbury and Woodmancote.

He has been elected twice to serve on the General Synod, and twice also elected as ProProlocutor of the House of Clergy. Alastair has served in his current role as Archdeacon of Lewisham & Greenwich in the Diocese of Southwark since 2013.

As a young curate Alastair found himself dealing with the traumatic events around the Hillsborough disaster, and – much later on – with the responses around the tragic deaths of Lee Rigby and Sabina Nessa in London – which he describes as experiences that have helped form and shape him. He ran a church-based arts centre for five years in West London.

Alastair is married to Kay, a teacher of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties and special needs, and they have two grown up daughters – Hannah and Laura – as well as a black Labrador called Maia.

Video: Meet the new Bishop of Woolwich

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