The new Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Dr Eleanor Sanderson, will begin her ministry in a Service of Commissioning and Welcome in Hull Minster at which the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, will preside, beginning at 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd September 2022.
Born in North Yorkshire and brought up in Derbyshire, Bishop Eleanor has served her whole ordained ministry to date in Aotearoa New Zealand, most recently for five years as Assistant Bishop of Wellington. As Bishop of Hull she succeeds the Right Reverend Alison White, who retired in February 2022, and will oversee the churches of the Archdeaconry of the East Riding, encompassing the City of Hull, much of the East Riding of Yorkshire and the North Yorkshire coast including Scarborough and as far north as Ravenscar. She will also hold other responsibilities across the Diocese of York, which is the Church of England from the Humber to the Tees, led by the Archbishop of York. Eleanor and husband Tim have two teenage sons, Joe and Zach.
The Service of Commissioning and Welcome in Hull's 700-year-old Church of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity, known since 2017 as Hull Minster, will be attended by Archbishop Philip Richardson, primate of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia, with the Reverend Rebecca Apperley representing the Diocese of Wellington. Aspects of traditional New Zealand and Aotearoa welcome practices will be incorporated in the process, supporting the weaving together of new belonging and new beginnings.
Dr Sanderson will be one of the first bishops in the Church of England to swear "True Allegiance to His Majesty King Charles the Third, His Heirs and Successors according to Law." She will also swear by Almighty God that she "Will pay true and canonical obedience to the Lord Archbishop of York and his Successors."
Before Bible readings from St Paul's Letter to the Phillippians (4: 4-9) and the Gospel of St John (2: 1-12), Bishop Eleanor will be greeted formally by High Sheriff of the East Riding Jacky Bowes, Leader of Hull City Council Michael Ross, Lay Dean for Howden Rosemary Stewart, and Pastor Isaac representing other Christian denominational church leaders.
Pupils from Archbishop Sentamu Academy, Hull, and other local schools will offer prayers and symbols for the Bishop of Hull and the Diocese of York.
Music will be led by the Hull Minster Choir and Worship Band.
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said, "After the momentous national events of the last fortnight it is a great joy to be welcoming Bishop Eleanor as the new Bishop of Hull and to join in the warm welcome I know the East Riding has in store for her and for Tim, Zach and Joe. It speaks volumes of their love and regard for Eleanor that both the Reverend Rebecca Apperley and Archbishop Philip Richardson are making the long journey to be with us, and to bring a flavour of Eleanor's Ministry in Aotearoa New Zealand into our celebration of her new ministry here in Yorkshire. We will be blessed to have Bishop Eleanor and her family among us, and I hope the service in Hull Minster, together with Friday evening's service in Bridlington and her installation in York Minster on Sunday afternoon will be times of blessing for them too. Eleanor's is a clarion voice for the Gospel in a very troubled world and I look forward to worshipping and working with her."
Bishop Eleanor Sanderson said, "This feels like a huge and wonderful step after so many months of praying and planning; we are ready to join God's presence in the streets, fields and beaches of this land and its people. Our prayer is that together we experience the fresh faithfulness and blessing of the One who continues to make all things new, and we will ourselves be giving heartfelt thanks for the history and richness of the stories and testimonies that underpin this remarkable place and its people."
On Friday 23rd September Bishop Eleanor will take part in a celebratory and reflective Service of Welcome at Emmanuel Church, Bridlington, beginning at 7.30pm. With music led by the church's own group including Vicar the Reverend Richard Hare, the service will include an opportunity for those present to put questions to Bishop Eleanor.
Members of the congregation will be invited, should they wish, to come forward to join in prayer for their concerns and needs, and those of their loved ones, and to receive anointing with holy oil.
Vicar of Bridlington Emmanuel the Revd Richard Hare said, "It's a privilege and a treat to welcome Bishop Eleanor to Bridlington right at the start of her ministry here in the East Riding. I think church members and wider public will quickly learn to love her and to respond to her faith and warmth."
On Sunday 25th September, Bishop Eleanor Sanderson will attend the regular 4.00pm Service of Evensong at York Minster, the Cathedral and Mother Church of the Diocese of York, where she will be formally Admitted and Installed as a member of the Minster's College of Canons.
The Admission ceremony, conducted by the Acting Dean, takes place as a specially-convened meeting of the College of Canons held in the Chapter House shortly before the Service of Evensong.
Bishop Eleanor’s Installation during the service of Evensong is the final step in the ceremonial sequence that enables new members of the College of Canons to take their rightful place in York Minster's constitutional Foundation.
The Installation concludes with the Acting Dean formally leading Bishop Eleanor and seating her in the stall assigned to her office as the Bishop of Hull.
The service will be sung by the Choir of York Minster with music chosen by Bishop Eleanor, including Lord’s Prayer sung in Maori.
The preacher is The Most Reverend Philip Richardson, Bishop of Waikato and Taranaki and primate of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia.
All three services will be live streamed via the respective church websites: