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Consecration of The Venerable Mark Ashcroft as Bishop of Bolton

The Venerable Mark Ashcroft

Thursday 13th October 2016

The Venerable Mark David Ashcroft will be consecrated Bishop of Bolton by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, at York Minster in a service beginning at 11:00am on 18 October 2016.

Mark Ashcroft, 61, has served as the Archdeacon of Manchester and Residentiary Canon of Manchester Cathedral since 2009.  His appointment as Bishop of Bolton follows the retirement in June of the Right Reverend Chris Edmondson.

The Revd Canon Mark Tanner will also be consecrated Bishop of Berwick in the Diocese of Newcastle.

Mark Ashcroft was announced as the new Bishop of Bolton in June.  A new video has been released of the announcement at a food bank and Mark’s tour of Bury Market and St Pauls’ CE Primary School in Salford.  See the video here:

During the ceremony, Bishop Mark will be presented with a pastoral staff made by Eddie Mercelsanca in Gloucestershire, who has won prizes for his work.  Gloucester Diocese sponsored Mark when he first explored the call to ordination.  The staff is a gift from Manchester Cathedral and Mark’s sister-in-law.

Mark will wear a pectoral cross made of pewter, significant because Mark and his family are members of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.  The cross was specially made in Cornwall and is a gift from his mother.

Mark Ashcroft said, "I am looking forward to my consecration as Bishop of Bolton in York Minster on October 18th and am very conscious of the love, prayer and support that surrounds me and my family as we prepare for this special day.  This is an exciting time for the Diocese of Manchester as we seek to be a transforming Christian presence in the communities we serve.  I feel both awestruck and energised by the ministry that lies before me to share the good news of Jesus, and to encourage and lead the Church in being a blessing to our communities.  I already know that I have wonderful colleagues to share this ministry with."

The Bishop of Manchester, The Rt Revd Dr David Walker said. “I am delighted that Mark Ashcroft is to be the next Bishop of Bolton.  Having worked with him as a colleague, I know that he has the requisite gifts and skills, and that this new role will give him a base from which to offer even more to God and the Church.”

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said “Mark has a great passion for mission and evangelism which he will continue to build on in his new ministry as Bishop of Bolton.  He has a true heart for the poor and the marginalised and has lived this out throughout his ministry, both overseas and here, in the Diocese of Manchester.”  

Mark is married to Sally and they have three adult children.  They met in Kenya while volunteers with the Church Mission Society and have a lifelong commitment to mission.

Mark will be welcomed and installed at a ceremony in Manchester Cathedral on Saturday October 22nd at 3pm.  He will take up his appointment as Bishop of Bolton at the end of November.



Mark trained for ordination at Ridley Hall Cambridge after working in the catering industry in Edinburgh.  Sensing a call to serve in urban areas, Mark was ordained in Manchester Diocese in 1982 and served as a curate in Burnage.  Mark and Sally then went to Kenya with the Church Mission Society where Mark taught in a Theological College, later becoming the Principal.  Returning to the UK, Mark was appointed Rector of Christ Church Harpurhey where he served from 1996 to 2009.  He was then appointed Archdeacon of Manchester.  Mark's role as Archdeacon of Manchester included being a Residentiary Canon at the Cathedral and significant involvement in Greater Manchester Churches together.

Mark’s interests include gardening, birdwatching and walking the dog. He is a supporter of England teams, whatever the sport.




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