The Venerable Patricia Hillas appointed as the next Bishop of Sodor and Man

16/05/2024

Head and shoulders of a woman in black clerical clothes smiling outside

The Venerable Patricia Hillas has been announced as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Sodor and Man

The official announcement came from Downing Street while the Bishop-designate visited Cathedral Isle of Man, Peel. 

As part of today’s introduction to the Diocese, the Bishop-designate will also visit a number of places on the Island including Thie dy Vea Retreat House, St John’s Mill, Tynwald and Government House.

Tricia, as she likes to be known, is currently Archdeacon and Canon of Westminster and also Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Tricia was born in 1966 in Kuala Lumpur to an Indian mother and British father and moved to the UK with her family in 1971.

She was ordained in 2002 following a career as a youth and social worker, part of which she specialised in supporting those diagnosed with HIV and AIDS.

Before becoming Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons in 2019 she was Priest in Charge at St-Mary-at-Hill, City of London and Canon Pastor at St Paul's Cathedral.

In her earlier days of ministry Tricia was ordained deacon in 2002 and priest in 2003. She served her curacy at the Kensal Rise Team Ministry in the Diocese of London. From 2005 to 2014 she was vicar of St Barnabas, Northolt Park.

The Venerable Tricia Hillas, the next Bishop of Sodor and Man, said:
“‘Gem of God’s earth’, ‘Seabound Kingdom’, and much-loved place ‘between the hills and the sea’; these evocative descriptions only begin to touch on the beauty and heart of the Isle of Man. After many years visiting as a guest I am thrilled to be called to make my home there, along with Andrew my husband, and to serve the Island and all her people as the next Bishop of Sodor and Man. As Bishop I am keen to get to know people of all ages and from all parts of the Island and to be known by them.

I eagerly look forward to being part of a church and wider community which have deep roots in faith, going back over 1,500 years, and which at the same time are moving ahead into God’s future. I hope we shall treasure the traditions of the past whilst looking to the new opportunities ahead. I have encountered at first hand the warmth and faithfulness of Christians on the Island. Now I look forward to joining with them in living and sharing the transforming love of God for all. 
We are of course made and shaped by the many significant people who surround us. I would therefore like to express my thanks to all on the Island, in the Westminster Parliament, at Westminster Abbey and those who took part in the discernment process, who have been so supportive and inspiring.

The Most Revd and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said:
“I am delighted that His Majesty the King has approved the appointment of The Venerable Patricia Hillas as the next Bishop of Sodor and Man. Tricia is a person of great wisdom and faithfulness. She knows and loves the Isle of Man and will serve the communities of this lovely diocese with care and joy using her considerable gifts in the service of the whole community and not only the Church. This may be the smallest diocese in the Church of England but it has one of the biggest hearts. I know that today the Island will come together and join in prayer to welcome Bishop Tricia."

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said he could not think of a kinder or more engaging person than Tricia to take up the post on the Isle of Man.
“Tricia has been an amazing colleague who has been at my side during some of the most turbulent and challenging times, but also among the most celebratory.
Together we have faced the impact on the parliamentary community of Covid, the murder of our much-loved colleague Sir David Amess, the deaths of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III, and even the death of my dear father.
We have introduced opportunities to mark Holocaust Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, the Constituency Garden of Remembrance, Commonwealth Day, and of course, the many Christmas and multi-faith events we host for the parliamentary community.
At every gathering and in all circumstances, Tricia has been a calming presence; exuding her trademark warmth and wise counsel to MPs and staff.
There is no doubt we will miss Tricia’s friendship, but we are also so proud that one of the Speaker’s Office team has gone on to achieve high office within the church.”

Congratulating Canon Hillas on her new role, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, said:

“Whilst we are sorry to be losing Tricia, who has been such a splendid colleague, we are delighted for her, for Andrew and for the Diocese as we think about all that lies ahead.  As Archdeacon, responsible for the care of residents and colleagues, Tricia has been compassionate in crisis and wise in counsel.  She is profoundly committed to the building of a just and equitable society and we are better thanks to her vision and her diligence.  She reminds us there is still work to do.  With humour, with style and with energy she has done so much to build relationships across Parliament Square and within the precincts.  In the Abbey, her ministry has rested on a deeply understood faith, lived out in word and action.  She leaves with our thanks and our prayers.”

The Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally, said:
“Tricia has given so much to London over the years, whether most recently as Speaker’s Chaplain, in her time in parish ministry across the Diocese, or during her time at St Paul’s Cathedral. She has inhabited each of these callings with her strong, calm leadership, and her deeply pastoral approach, all of which will prove invaluable in her role as Bishop. While we will miss her greatly here in the capital, I know she will continue to flourish in her ministry amongst the parishes of Sodor and Man.”

Tricia will be consecrated on Thursday 10 October in York Minster and be installed in the Cathedral at Peel later in the year.

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