The Anglican church in the British Armed Forces falls under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury; however, for all practical purposes the function is performed by the Bishop to the Forces. His full title is "The Archbishop of Canterbury's Episcopal Representative to the Armed Forces". The Bishop to the Forces is not a military chaplain.
There is sometimes confusion between the (Anglican) "Bishop to the Forces" and the (Roman Catholic) "Bishop of the Forces": for this reason the latter is normally given his title in full, i.e. "The Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces".
|Bishops to the Forces|
|1948||1956||Cuthbert Bardsley||Also Bishop of Croydon; later became Bishop of Coventry.|
|1956||1966||Stanley Betts||Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Dean of Rochester.|
|1966||1975||John Hughes||Also Bishop of Croydon.|
|1977||1984||Stuart Snell||Also Bishop of Croydon.|
|1985||1990||Ronald Gordon||Also Bishop at Lambeth.|
|1990||1992||David Smith||Also Bishop of Maidstone; later became Bishop of Bradford.|
|1992||2001||John Kirkham||Also Bishop of Sherborne.|
|2001||2009||David Conner||Also Dean of Windsor.|
|2009||2014||Stephen Venner||Also Bishop of Dover and Bishop for the Falkland Islands.|
|9 July 2014||2017||Nigel Stock||Also Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; retired August 2017.|
|6 September 2017||present||Tim Thornton||As Bishop at Lambeth and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; commissioned 6 September 2017.|
The Bishop at Lambeth is a position within the hierarchy of the Church of England. It is a non-diocesan appointment in which an experienced bishop acts as head of staff to the Archbishop of Canterbury.Bishop of Buckingham
The Bishop of Buckingham is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford, in the Province of Canterbury, England. The title takes its name from the historic county town of Buckingham. The bishops suffragan of Buckingham have been area bishops since the Oxford area scheme was founded in 1984.Bishop of Burnley
The Bishop of Burnley is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Blackburn, in the Province of York, England.The title takes its name after the town of Burnley in Lancashire. Originally, the suffragan bishops were appointed for the diocese of Manchester, but with the creation of the Diocese of Blackburn in 1926, Burnley came under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Blackburn.Bishop of Lewes
The Bishop of Lewes is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Chichester, in the Province of Canterbury, England. The title takes its name after Lewes, the county town of East Sussex. The bishops suffragan of Lewes were area bishops since the Chichester area scheme was erected in 1984 until 2013. The bishop oversees the archdeaconries of Hastings & Brighton and Lewes.Bishop of Plymouth (Anglican)
The Anglican Bishop of Plymouth is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Exeter, in the Province of Canterbury, England. The title takes its name after the city of Plymouth in Devon.Bishop of Portsmouth (Anglican)
The Bishop of Portsmouth is the Ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth in the Province of Canterbury.
The diocese covers south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and has its see in the City of Portsmouth, where the seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Saint Thomas of Canterbury which was elevated to cathedral status in 1927. The bishop's residence is Bishopsgrove, Fareham.
The office of bishop was created in 1927 when the new diocese was formed from part of the Diocese of Winchester. The current bishop is the Right Reverend Christopher Foster, the 9th Bishop of Portsmouth, who signs + Christopher Portsmouth. Previously Suffragan Bishop of Hertford, his nomination as Bishop of Portsmouth was announced by Downing Street on 9 February 2010. He was installed and enthroned in a service at Portsmouth Cathedral on 18 September 2010.Bishop of Sherborne
The Bishop of Sherborne is an episcopal title which takes its name from the market town of Sherborne in Dorset, England. The see of Sherborne was established in around 705 by St Aldhelm, the Abbot of Malmesbury. This see was the mother diocese of the greater part of southwestern England in Saxon times, but after the Norman Conquest was incorporated into the new Diocese of Salisbury. The title Bishop of Sherborne is now used by the Church of England for a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Salisbury.In 1925, the title Bishop of Sherborne was revived by the Church of England as a suffragan bishopric in the Diocese of Salisbury. From 1981 to 2009, the suffragan Bishop of Sherborne was responsible as area bishop for those parishes in Dorset and Devon belonging to the diocese. Since 2009, the suffragan Bishop of Sherborne, along with the suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury, has assisted the diocesan Bishop of Salisbury in overseeing the whole of the diocese.The post became vacant in 2015 on the resignation of Graham Kings, who had been consecrated in a special service at Westminster Abbey on 24 June 2009 by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.The present incumbent is the Right Reverend Karen Gorham, the first woman to have held the position. She was born in 1964 and was educated at Mayflower High School, a state school in Billericay, Essex. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of Bristol and did her theological training for the ministry at Trinity College, Bristol. Before being ordained she held administrative posts
with the Business and Technology Education Council and with the Royal Society of Arts. From 1995 to 1999 she served as a curate in the parish of Northallerton with Kirby Sigston in the Diocese of York, and was ordained priest in 1996. In 1999 she became Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s Church, Maidstone, in the Diocese of Canterbury. She was the Archdeacon of Buckingham from 2007 onwards, stepping down as archdeacon on 19 January 2016 in preparation for her consecration as bishop. She has served on the General Synod of the Church of England for twelve years.Karen Gorham was consecrated as bishop on 24 February 2016 at Westminster Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and officially welcomed to the diocese on 6 March 2016 at Sherborne Abbey. Welcoming her, the Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury, stated: "The last year has been a significant year for women in the ministry of the Church of England and this is a historic moment for the Diocese of Salisbury as its welcomes its first woman bishop."Bishop of Southampton
The Bishop of Southampton is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Winchester, in the Province of Canterbury, England. The title takes its name after the city of Southampton in Hampshire. The See is vacant following Frost's installation at York Minster.Bishop of Taunton
The Bishop of Taunton is an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Bath and Wells, in the Province of Canterbury, England. The title was first created under the Suffragan Bishops Act 1534 and takes its name after Taunton, the county town of Somerset.
Ruth Worsley was consecrated Bishop of Taunton on 29 September 2015.Bishop of the Falkland Islands
The Bishop of the Falkland Islands was historically a bishopric in the Church of England; as the ordinary of the Diocese of the Falkland Islands, the bishop had responsibility for chaplaincies across South America, before national metropolitical provinces were formed.
Today the Bishop of the Falkland Islands is the head of the small extra-provincial Church of the Falkland Islands, a member church of the Anglican Communion. The title is held concurrently and ex officio by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose jurisdiction is delegated to a commissary known as the Bishop for the Falkland Islands.Bishopric of the Forces in Great Britain
The Bishopric of the Forces (in Great Britain) is the Latin Church Catholic military ordinariate (non-geographically aligned) which provides chaplains to the British Armed Forces based in Great Britain (UK minus Northern Ireland) and their overseas postings.It is exempt, i.e. directly subject to the Holy See (not part of any ecclesiastical province) and its Roman Congregation for Bishops. The chaplains (padres) are drawn from the dioceses of England, Wales and Scotland, and from some religious institutes. Chaplains have spiritual and pastoral care of military personnel and their families.
Until 1986, they were called "military vicariates" and had a status similar to that of apostolic vicariates which are headed by a bishop who receives his authority by delegation from the Pope. The apostolic constitution Spirituali Militum Curae of 21 April 1986 raised their status, declaring that the bishop who heads one of them is an "ordinary", holding authority by virtue of his office, and not by delegation from another person in authority.
There is sometimes confusion between the holder of this Catholic post and the Anglican "Bishop to the Forces": for this reason the former is normally referred to as "the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Forces".Chaplain general
The chaplain general is a senior chaplain in non-church organisations, such as the British and Canadian armies, and is responsible for the supervision of chaplains conducting religious services and ceremonies, representing the Christian faith in that organisation, and providing pastoral care and support within the organisation.David Conner (bishop)
David John Conner, (born 6 April 1947) is a British Anglican bishop. He is the current Dean of Windsor (since 1998), and was formerly the Bishop to the Forces (2001–2009).David Smith (bishop)
David James Smith (born 14 July 1935) is a retired Anglican bishop of the Church of England.Nigel Stock (bishop)
William Nigel Stock (born 29 January 1950) is a British Anglican bishop. From 2013 until his 2017 retirement, he was Bishop at Lambeth, Bishop to the Forces and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; from 2007 to 2013 he was Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.Ronald Gordon
Archibald Ronald McDonald Gordon (19 March 1927 – 8 August 2015) was a British Anglican bishop. He was Bishop of Portsmouth from 1975 to 1984. He was Bishop at Lambeth from 1984 and additionally Bishop to the Forces from 1985. He ended his career as Sub-Dean at Christ Church, Oxford from 1991 to 1996.Stephen Venner
Stephen Venner (born 19 June 1944) was Bishop of Dover (the bishop with delegated responsibility for the Diocese of Canterbury) from 1999 until 2009. He was also Bishop for the Falkland Islands from 2007 and Bishop to the Forces from 2009 until his retirement from both posts in 2014.Stuart Snell
(Geoffrey) Stuart Snell (1920–1988) was a British Anglican bishop. He was born in Devon on the 25 October 1920 and educated at Exeter School and St Peter's College, Oxford. Snell entered the Anglican ministry from the parish of Emmanuel, Northwood, London where he was a member of the laity. He had already done some training under Donald Coggan, and in the early 1960s decided to go forward for ministry. The Bishop of London suggested that he remain in his own house and serve as a second curate in the Parish of Emmanuel. He brought to the ministry immense gifts of mind and heart, and the then vicar, Martin Parsons declared "it was a joy to have him and Margaret with us in the work."
Eventually some years later in 1977 Snell was made Bishop of Croydon, and Parsons was greatly honoured when he was asked by the Archbishop to preach the sermon at Snell's consecration. The Rt. Revd. Stuart Snell was also Bishop to the Forces and in 1983 visited the Falkland Islands to conduct a memorial service for all those who died in the conflict. He also consecrated cemeteries on the Islands. Snell died in Westminster in July 1988, aged 67 years old.
Snell married Margaret Lonsdale Geary. Their son Adrian Snell is a songwriter and another son, Christopher Snell, died on 14 June 2008 of cancer. He was an actor.Tim Thornton (bishop)
Timothy Martin Thornton (born 14 April 1957) is a British Anglican bishop. Since 6 September 2017, he has been Bishop at Lambeth, Bishop to the Forces, and Bishop for the Falkland Islands. He was previously the area Bishop of Sherborne from 2001 to 2008, the diocesan Bishop of Truro (2009–2017), and a Member of the House of Lords (2013–2017).
|Church of England|
|Church in Wales|
| Scottish Episcopal|
|Church of Ireland|