Diocese gives green light to Biking Bishop of Lewes

Rev Richard Jackson
Rev Richard Jackson

The Rev Richard Jackson, Mission Renewal Adviser and Leader of the Church Growth Team in the Diocese of Chichester, is to be the next Bishop of Lewes.

Mr Jackson, 53, is married to Deborah, who is a special needs teacher. They have three grown-up children.

He has a scientific background. Before becoming a priest he worked as an agricultural consultant.

He served his curacy in the Parish of Lindfield and became Vicar of Rudgwick in 1998. He was then Rural Dean of Horsham from 2005 before taking up his current post.

Mr Jackson said: “One of my key tasks is to be a mediator and to bring people to mutual understanding. I really want to be a bishop to all people, it is as simple as that.”

He added: “Ultimately, the task of the church is about growth. If we want to contribute to the common good in society we need to be growing.”

Mr Jackson admits that “something of a midlife crisis” encouraged him to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle and he acknowledges he might become known as the “Biking Bishop”. But he intends to get around his patch on his motorbike and believes knowing the Diocese as well as he does is going to help him in his new task.

He must first be ordained as bishop and the ceremony takes place at Westminster Abbey in May. He will then be formally welcomed to the Diocese in Chichester Cathedral. He succeeds Wallace Benn who retired in 2012.