The Reverend Canon Tim Dakin was named by Downing Street last week as the next Bishop of Winchester, the fifth most senior in the Church of England, with an automatic seat in the House of Lords.
His appointment follows the retirement of Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt in May. Bishop Michael consistently opposed any change to Anglican teaching which might have led to the full inclusion of LGB&T people.
Will Canon Dakin be any different? He is at present General Secretary of the Church Mission Society, an evangelical organisation with a conservative position on human sexuality. He is also already a member of the General Synod.
At the press conference last Tuesday, Canon Dakin, asked to comment on whether he opposed same-sex marriage like his predecessor, said: “I do not have a line on this one”, adding that everyone, “however they self-identify with orientation was welcome by God”.
He went on to say he was from an evangelical background and a “global Christian” but added: “The biblical tradition is that God blesses the marriage of a man and woman. Faithfulness in marriage creates stability in family life, and is the basis for introducing children to values that create local and wider community.”
He was born to missionary parents in Tanzania, growing up both in East Africa and the UK. He was ordained in 1993 and worked as principal at a Church Army college in Nairobi and served his curacy at the city’s Anglican cathedral.
He said last week: “The Church of England is both fragile and robust. It’s fragile because of all the change, yet it’s strangely robust in the way we’re imaginatively tackling new opportunities. As Christians, our greatest communication challenge is to show, by what we do and who we are, that our faith is not primarily about what we do in Church buildings but about how we live day by day.”