The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill
The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill

Tributes have been paid following the death of the former Bishop of Lichfield.

The Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill died yesterday (1st November).

He was the 98th Bishop of Lichfield and held the position from 2003 until his retirement in 2015.

Shortly before standing down, he announced that he had Parkinson’s Disease.

His successor, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said:

“Bishop Jonathan was a much loved and fondly remembered Bishop of Lichfield.

“He was a gentle and kind pastor of his priests and people, a wise teacher of the faith, and a humble and committed disciple of Jesus Christ.

“From this diocese, we give thanks for the many ways in which his ministry enriched churches and communities, and we send our condolences to Jane and their family.

“May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

The Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, Bishop of Lichfield

Born in Windsor and educated at Keele University, Bishop Jonathan served in Chester Diocese as a curate, before serving in various roles in Canterbury Diocese between 1978 and 1996. He then moved to become the Suffragan (Area) Bishop of Southampton before moving to become Bishop of Lichfield.

Lichfield Diocesan CEO Julie Jones worked closely with Bishop Jonathan during his final six years in Lichfield. 

“We met weekly to discuss many issues about the life of the diocese, ranging from strategic matters to more personal things.

“I often took a list of items to cover, things to be ticked off if you like. He would always listen and then maybe gently but firmly reply, ‘I think I might like to think about that and pray about it for a little longer’ – I clearly remember him asking me if I drove him mad not making a decision!

“Over time I came to appreciate those different counter cultural qualities – prayerfulness, humility, a forgiving and tolerant spirit, the desire to encourage all, a willingness to allow others to shine not himself – these qualities were deeply attractive and challenging to the rest of us. 

“Bishop Jonathan was also steadfast, he was not afraid to say ‘no’. He stood firm over issues he believed in and he was willing to take risks.

“He faced his health issues with faith and courage and was always more concerned about the impact of his illness on others.

“We were fortunate to have a Bishop and his spouse who were willing to lead in such a Christ-like way, who modelled such humble and gentle leadership. My thoughts and prayers are with Jane and the rest of the family today.” 

Julie Jones

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