The first Bishop of Huddersfield is on the move – to a new office in the town’s university.
In a first for the Church of England, the Rt Rev Dr Jonathan Gibbs will set up his office on the University of Huddersfield campus.
No other bishop has had an office at a university and Bishop Jonathan says the move is a symbol of his hopes and ambitions for his ministry.
Bishop Jonathan, 53, whose area covers the whole of Kirklees and Calderdale, said: “My role is to be at the heart of the community and the University of Huddersfield is a key institution.
“It is a fantastic, vibrant place where we invest in the future of our young people.
“This symbolises our commitment to helping the next generation and putting the church right at the heart of the wider community.”
Father-of-three Bishop Jonathan, previously Rector of Heswall on the Wirral, was appointed last August.
He now lives in Roberttown, near Liversedge, and took up his role at the end of November.
“I have had a brilliant welcome,” said the Bishop. “I have been busy visiting churches all over the area and getting to know people in the wider community.
“There is a real buzz and an excitement about Huddersfield and my priorities are two-fold – to help local churches to grow and to see these churches serving their communities and making a difference.”
University vice-chancellor Prof Bob Cryan welcomed the Bishop and said: “We are pleased to be playing a small part in this historic moment.
“It’s been a long time coming but we now have a Bishop of Huddersfield in response to changing times and changing needs.
“Bishop Jonathan is well aware of the challenges he faces in establishing a new structure and winning everybody over to it but he is a man who is exceptionally well positioned to achieve this.
“He has served on many committees and forums and his membership of the General Synod all go to show that he has the organisational and political skills needed in his historic new role.”