'I am really humbled': New Bishop of Barking appointed

Rev Lynne Cullens and Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani

Rev Lynne Cullens and Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani - Credit: Diocese of Chelmsford

The new Bishop of Barking said she is "humbled" to be taking over the role.

Rev Lynne Cullens will oversee the Church of England in the Barking Episcopal area, which includes Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Redbridge.

A former charity chief executive, Rev Cullens will begin her role in the spring.

She met church leaders at St Margaret's Church in Barking on Tuesday (November 30) as an introduction to the Diocese of Chelmsford.

Rev Cullens told this paper: "I am really humbled and thrilled.

"It was really lovely to be in the diocese and I had a couple of really nice visits, get to know people and more about the communities here."

She is currently Rector of Stockport and Brinnington in the Diocese of Chester and is part of a Church task group aimed at growing Christian communities in social housing estates.

Most Read

Asked for her main priorities in her role, she said: "I think listening to the experience of church leaders and members of congregations across the area.

"It's an incredibly rich and diverse area and it's listening and understanding the community dynamics and what people feel are the joys in the areas they live and the challenges."

Working with other religious groups and leaders is also a key aim.

"It's really important that in interfaith working we look at what unites us rather than what divides us.

"I think we have so much in common with people of other faiths."

She replaces Rt Rev Peter Hill, who retired earlier this year.

Rev Cullens' appointment means the two most senior positions in the Church in east London are held by women.

Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani became the Bishop of Chelmsford earlier this year and Rev Cullens said she was pleased to be working alongside her.

"I think we have a similar vision for serving our communities and thereby serving God."

Bishop Guli added: "Her passion for social justice and serving local communities has been a hallmark of her ministry and will serve her well as she ministers alongside our outstanding team of clergy and lay leaders in the Barking area."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter