Sixth Bishop of Dorking announced

September 27, 2023| Latest News

The Venerable Paul Davies, Archdeacon of Surrey is to become the next Bishop of Dorking.

Guildford has been home to the Bishop of Dorking designate and his family since 2017, with Paul serving in his current role as Archdeacon of Surrey, responsible for the pastoral care and wellbeing of over 150 clergy, whilst sitting on the Bishop of Guildford’s leadership team.

Originally from Pembrokeshire, Archdeacon Paul Davies read theology at the Universities of Wales and Oxford. Following his training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, he returned to Pembrokeshire to be ordained in 1997 at St David’s Cathedral where he began his ministry (and fulfilled his childhood ambition of serving on a lifeboat crew!). This was followed by successive appointments as vicar of Solva in rural Pembrokeshire and then vicar of Burry Port in post-industrial Carmarthenshire. During these years he also served as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and an Officiating Chaplain to the Military.

In 2012, Paul moved to North Wales to serve as Archdeacon of Bangor and Anglesey before, in 2017, swapping a rural Welsh patch for a mainly urban English one, as he took up his present appointment as Archdeacon of Surrey. This month, he celebrates 25 years as a priest.

Paul is married to Louise, a town planner, who was born and spent her early years in Surrey. They have a son in university and a daughter who turned 18 this week. The whole family is delighted to be remaining in the area.

Paul will be ordained as a bishop in Westminster Abbey on 29th September. A service of welcome will be held at Guildford Cathedral on 8th October at 6.00pm. More details will be available shortly.

Paul says; “Whilst I am slightly daunted by the responsibility to be entrusted to me, my heart is full of joy at the prospect of continuing to serve a diocese and people I have grown to love. For the past six years, I have been constantly inspired by the faith, hope and love that pours out of our churches, schools and chaplaincies in the work of transforming lives. I feel immensely blessed to have been called to serve alongside Bishop Andrew in leading and caring for this diocese and, with the help of God, will do that to the very best of my ability.”

Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford reflects on why Paul was such a good fit; “Those of us privileged to work with Paul here in Guildford over the past six years have recognised just what a treasure he is: a godly disciple, a wise pastor, a gifted preacher, a keen strategist, and someone with extraordinary capacity for hard work. His family are pretty special too!

For some while now I’ve known that Paul would make a wonderful bishop somewhere – and over the course of the past few months it’s become increasingly clear to me (among many others) that that ‘somewhere’ is here. I couldn’t be more delighted.”

Bishop Andrew continues on what is to come; “Paul and I will be sharing in episcopal ministry across the diocese, as together we continue to pray and work towards a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives. He will also have a particular brief to promote three of the areas in which we are investing the most, as Champion for children and youth, vocations and the environment. As Paul lays down one mantle and picks up another, I’m really excited at all that the Lord has in store.”

Following the announcement, the Bishop of Dorking designate will spend the morning out in the Diocese of Guildford with the Bishop of Guildford celebrating what God is doing. They will start the day at the Cathedral for a Family Fun Day with over 120 children; talking with young, inquisitive minds and their families and encouraging keen environmental stewardship – something that the Bishop of Dorking will be a champion. Children will receive wildflower seeds to take home, encouraging biodiversity in homes across Surrey & Hampshire.

Then it is on to St Martins, Old Dean in Camberley. This is a church whose vocational heart has been to support its community in ways that need it most. The Free Food Stall which the church started, in partnership with the Old Dean Community Group, has drawn in so many people to help improve the lives of people who live here, and has a transformative impact on the culture of this parish.

The Bishop of Dorking designate will then spend time with Diocesan staff, some of whom have known Paul since his arrival in Guildford, celebrating and praying together for their new leadership team and the exciting work to come.

At 2pm the Bishop designate will return to the Cathedral green to plant a tree, a symbolic step of not only the wider strategy of the Diocese to commit to becoming Net Zero by 2030 but also the long term partnership between the Diocese and Guildford Cathedral. All are welcome to join us – please do come on down!

Finally, the day will conclude with a visit to Dorking – giving thanks for the town after which the See is named. Paul will spend some time in quiet reflection at St Martin’s, Dorking.

Paul will lay down his Archdeacon ministry at an Evensong at the Cathedral on the 30th July and take some much-deserved time with his family before his consecration in September.

During the vacancy of the Archdeacon of Surrey, the Venerable Martin Breadmore (Archdeacon of Dorking) will also be Acting Archdeacon of Surrey ably supported by Claire Isherwood (Assistant Archdeacon of Surrey).

Latest News

Nothing found.

Nothing found.

Current Issue

Nothing found.

Nothing found.

Previous Issue

Nothing found.

Nothing found.

News + Events

Nothing found.


Nothing found.