Bishop of Bradford to be Bishop of brand new Diocese for Yorkshire


Downing Street has announced that the Rt Revd Nick Baines, the Bishop of Bradford, will be the first Church of England Bishop of Leeds for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.

The diocese, which comes into being on Easter Sunday (20 April), will replace the current dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield and will be the largest geographically in the country. It will be known formally as The Diocese of Leeds but will be referred to as the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.

Nick Baines has been Bishop of Bradford for three years, and before that was Bishop of Croydon (in the Diocese of Southwark). He read German and French at Bradford University and, before ordination, worked for four years as a Russian linguist at GCHQ.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, says, “I am delighted and am rejoicing in the nomination of Bishop Nicholas Baines to be elected as the first Bishop of Leeds, in West Yorkshire and the Dales. On the day of Pentecost, June 8th, we shall celebrate the Inauguration of the new Diocese, and the Confirmation of Election of your new Bishop. I call on everyone in Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, and Wakefield Dioceses to join me in praying for Bishop Nick, and for Linda his wife, as they prepare, with you, for this exciting new beginning.”

Nick Baines says, “It is a great honour and privilege – as well as an enormous responsibility – to be nominated to this post. I’m fully aware of the challenges this brings, but am confident that this new diocese will thrive.

The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales will be made up of five Areas (Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Ripon and Wakefield) each with its own Area Bishop. (Nick Baines will also be the Area Bishop of Leeds).

It retains the 3 Cathedrals – Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield – and will have 496 clergy, 656 churches and 256 Church of England schools.

It will run from Barnsley in the south, through West and North Yorkshire, to parts of County Durham in the north, covering an area of 2,425 square miles. The total population is 2,614,00; the majority of whom are concentrated in the southern part of the diocese.

Significant Dates
  • 20 April (Easter Sunday)
    The Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales comes into being.
  • 8 June (Pentecost Sunday)
    At York Minster with the Archbishop of York – Inauguration of the Diocese and Confirmation of the Election of the Bishop of Leeds (at which point, The Rt Revd Nick Baines legally becomes the Bishop of Leeds.)

The Bishop will be enthroned in Bradford, Ripon and Wakefield cathedrals on 3 separate dates in the summer.