New Bishop of Bolton announced by Downing Street


The next Bishop of Bolton will be the Revd Dr. Matthew Porter, currently Vicar of St Michael le Belfrey in York, 10 Downing Street has announced today.

He will be consecrated to be the sixth Bishop of Bolton at York Minster in June 2023. Matthew will succeed the Rt Revd Mark Ashcroft, who retired as Bishop of Bolton last month. 

Matthew was ordained in the Diocese of Sheffield in 1996 and served his curacy at Christ Church in Dore. Since 2010, he has held the role of Vicar of St Michael le Belfrey in York, a resource church involved in church planting and revitalisation, with a broad range of ages including lots of students and young adults. 

Matthew is an author, has recently completed doctoral studies in church planting, and in 2022 was appointed an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen, and then the King. 

He is passionate about evangelism, discipleship and developing leaders, and particularly serving people in poverty and young people in the North of England. 

Matthew often describes himself as ‘a follower of Jesus and a leader in God’s church – in that order.’ He believes that nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer. 

He says: ‘I’m humbled and thrilled to be called to be the next Bishop of Bolton, working with Bishop David and Bishop Mark. While sad about leaving The Belfrey in York, I’m coming to the Manchester area in prayerful expectation, excited to be the lead bishop in mission, growth and church planting, and looking forward to serving the people and church of such a fantastic part of the North.’

Matthew will be introduced to representatives from across the Diocese of Manchester at Saint Philip’s, Chapel Street, Salford this morning, before meeting local dignitaries at Bolton Town Hall. He will then travel to St. John’s House, the new diocesan offices in Bury, to meet clergy, staff, and lay leaders. 

Welcoming Matthew to his new role, The Rt Revd Prof. David Walker, Bishop of Manchester said, ‘I am delighted that Matthew Porter is to be the next Bishop of Bolton. He will build on the work done in recent years, further strengthening our skills and passion for mission both in the Bolton and Salford archdeaconries and across the wider diocese. 

“He brings us immediate experience of parish life and particular gifts in enabling church planting and church growth. He is deeply committed to God’s mission here in the North, and will be a great asset not only in Manchester Diocese but across the Northern Province.”

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said: "Having recently spent a few days in the lovely Diocese of Manchester, I have no doubt that Matthew will make a great addition to the team. He will bring his experience, passion and expertise in parish development, church planting and mission. But also his prayerful humility and godliness. 

“Under his guiding hand the parish of St Michael le Belfrey in York has gone from strength to strength, particularly building a powerful and innovative partnership with the diocese to further parish revitalization. As Bishop of Bolton and as part of the leadership team for the Manchester diocese he will be wise leader, pastor and teacher. We will miss him in York."

Matthew is married to Sam who is a carer and values hospitality, and they have five grown-up sons. Like his three eldest sons who work in creative industries, Matthew appreciates artistry, architecture and good design. He also loves a flat white coffee and bacon sandwich (with ketchup, not brown sauce) and since childhood has been a supporter of Manchester United.

Head and shoulders of man dressed in blue clergy shirt and black blazer

The Bishop of Bolton serves in the Diocese of Manchester alongside the Bishop of Manchester, The Right Reverend Prof. David Walker and the Bishop of Middleton, The Right Reverend Mark Davies.

The Diocese of Manchester is the Church of England in Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, and Trafford. 

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