New Bishop for Edinburgh

The Very Rev Dr John Armes was today elected as the new Bishop for the Diocese of Edinburgh. Dr Armes succeeds the Rt Rev Brian Smith who retired in August 2011.

Dr Armes is presently rector of St John the Evangelist Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh and Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh. Before moving to Edinburgh in 1998, he was Area Dean of Rossendale and Priest in Charge of Goodshaw and Crawshawbooth in the Diocese of Manchester. His biography is detailed below.

On hearing the news of his election the Bishop-elect said “I am both delighted and honoured to be elected the new Bishop of Edinburgh, especially as those who have elected me are people who know me and have worked with me over a number of years.  I see this as an exciting challenge and look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue to develop the work and life of the Diocese of Edinburgh. There are obvious gains and losses and one of the difficult things will be to leave St John’s Church, which has been the most rewarding place I’ve ever worked.  Everything I’ve learned at St John’s will strengthen me as I enter this new phase of ministry”.

The election of the new Bishop was carried out by the Electoral Synod (comprising representatives of clergy and lay church members from the Diocese of Edinburgh), which was chaired by the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev David Chillingworth who says “I congratulate John on his election and am delighted to welcome him to leadership in the Diocese of Edinburgh and to share in the life of the College of Bishops.  John has had a distinctive ministry as Rector of St John’s Church, Princes Street and has placed the ministry of the Scottish Episcopal Church at the heart of the City of Edinburgh.  He now has the opportunity of exercising a wider leadership role in the Diocese of Edinburgh.”

Dr Armes is married to Clare; they have four children (youngest is 19; oldest is 25).  His interests include theatre, cinema, walking, reading novels, watching sport, travel and humour.

The service of consecration and installation of the new Bishop will take place in the Cathedral Church of St Mary, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh at a date to be agreed. Further details of this service will be available in due course.

Biography:Born 1955. Cambridge University BA 1977, MA 1981. University of Manchester PhD 1996. Salisbury–Wells Theological College.  Deaconed 1979.  Priested 1980.

Currently Rector of St John the Evangelist Church, Princes Street, Edinburgh.  Formerly Area Dean of Rossendale in the Manchester Diocese; priest-in-charge of Goodshaw & Crawshawbooth (1994-1998); Anglican Chaplain to University of Manchester. Team Vicar and then Team Rector of Parish of Whitworth (University Parish),  Convener of Chaplaincy Ecumenical Team (1986-1994); Chaplain to Agriculture and Rural Life in Cumbria (two-thirds time) and Team Vicar in Greystoke Team Ministry, looking after Watermillock parish (1982-1986).  Curate, Walney, Barrow in Furness. Chaplain, Barrow Sixth Form College (1979-82)

I have worked with John when he was Chair of the Mission and Ministry committee and he was very good at keeping me in line, in a gentle but firm way. He is well known at the annual Clergy Conferences as someone who likes to dialogue fairly with folk from all kinds of churches. And he is openly supportive of women in ministry, and gay people in all aspects of church. So that’s all good then, yes?


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