Consecrations of New Bishops of Selby and Whitby


Archbishop Sentamu will consecrate two new Bishops of the Diocese of York at York Minster on Thursday 3rd July.

The Ven Paul John Ferguson, Archdeacon of Cleveland, will be consecrated as the Suffragan Bishop of Whitby, and the Rev Canon Dr John Bromilow Thomson, Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Sheffieldwill be consecrated as the Suffragan Bishop of Selby.

The Revd Sue Bond, Rector of Ampleforth, will be preaching at the service.  Sue was John Thomson’s Rector when he lived in Warmsworth, and is now a colleague of Paul Ferguson in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland. 

John Thomson will be presented for consecration by his current Bishop, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, and the Rt Revd Richard Frith, Bishop of Hull.  Paul Ferguson will be presented for consecration by the Rt Revd Glyn Webster, Bishop of Beverley, and the Rt Revd David Hamid, Assistant Bishop of Europe, who works with Paul on the Porvoo Communion Committee.  

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said, “Consecrations are always special services, and it is splendid when two or three Bishops are consecrated to serve in one diocese - like I was consecrated Bishop with two others to serve in the Diocese of London in 1996. John and Paul will bring unique gifts to advance the mission of Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples.  They will join a united team and help our churches make a real difference in our communities, as lives are transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ.   These are very exciting times in the Diocese of York as we mutually resource one another to build up the Body of Christ, to grow in Christlikeness, commitment, partnership, influence and numbers”.

The Ven Paul Ferguson said, “I’ve lived in Cleveland for the last thirteen years, and we’ll be celebrating the craft and industry of the region at the service.  I’ve commissioned a new Bishop’s cross, ring and staff, and I’ll be wearing and carrying them for the first time at the consecration.  The cross has been made by the Tata Steel Works in Redcar.  The ring, by the silversmith Caroline Lang from Nunnington, shows an ammonite, the emblem of St Hilda of Whitby, surrounded by the four arms of a cross.  The staff has been made by Gordon Flintoft, the award winning stick maker from Glaisdale, from a hazel stem and horn shepherd’s crook handle. “

The Revd Canon Dr John Thomson said, “I am delighted to be consecrated by Archbishop Sentamu, especially as twelve years of my childhood were spent in Uganda.  There will also be friends from South Africa, Sheffield, and other places I’ve lived in the UK.  There will be a family feel to the service, as my daughter, Anya Faull, my son in law, Jonny Faull and their friend, Dom White - all professional musicians - will be contributing music during the service.”

Following the Consecrations at York Minster, the Bishops will be welcomed at a special service in each of their new Archdeaconries.  The service to welcome the Revd Dr John Thomson as the Bishop of Selby will take place in Selby Abbey at 11am on Saturday 5th July. And the service to welcome the Ven Paul Ferguson as Bishop of Whitby will take place in St Hilda's Church, Whitby, at 7.30pm on Tuesday 8th July.

John Thomson succeeds the Rt Revd Martin Wallace, who retired on 30th November 2013, and Paul Ferguson succeeds the Rt Revd Martin Warner, who was announced as Bishop of Chichester on 2nd July 2012.

The Revd Canon Dr John Thomson

The Revd Canon Dr John Thomson (aged 54), studied at York University and then trained for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  He served his curacy at Ecclesall, in the Diocese of Sheffield from 1985 to 1989. From 1989 to 1992 he went to South Africa to be a Tutor at Saint Paul’s College, Grahamstown and from 1990 to 1992 was also an Assistant Priest at St Bartholomew, Grahamstown and from 1991-1992 an Assistant Lecturer at Rhodes University. From 1993 to 2001 he was Vicar of St Mary Doncaster, in the Diocese of Sheffield and did his PhD at Nottingham University. Since 2001 he has been Director of Ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield and an Honorary Canon of Sheffield Cathedral. 

John was brought up in Uganda, is married to Susan and they have two adult children. His interests include cycling, choral singing, cooking and gardening. His published work explores the calling of the Church today in conversation with the Theological Ethicist, Stanley Hauerwas.

The Ven Paul Ferguson

The Ven Paul Ferguson (aged 58), was educated at New College, Oxford, and then King’s College, Cambridge, and trained for the ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge. He served his curacy at Chester Saint Mary from 1985 to 1988 in the Diocese of Chester. From 1988 to 1992 he was Sacrist and Chaplain at Westminster Abbey, and Precentor from 1992 to 1995. From 1995 to 2001 he was Canon Residentiary and Precentor at York Minster in the Diocese of York. Since 2001 he has been Archdeacon of Cleveland and a member of the College of Canons of York. He is Warden of Readers for the Diocese of York, and a member of the Church of England’s Porvoo Panel which oversees links with the Scandinavian and Baltic Lutheran churches. He is author of Great is the Mystery of Faith: exploring faith through the words of worship(Canterbury Press).  

Paul is married to Penny, who is Tees Valley Music Service’s co-ordinator for Redcar and Cleveland, and they have three grown-up children, Matthew (married to Christine), Julia and Anthony.  His interests include music, walking, and Scandinavian language and culture.  Paul is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, and it is believed he may be the first Fellow in its 150-year history to become a Bishop.