The King has approved the nomination of The Reverend Dr Michael Volland, currently Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge, for election as Bishop of Birmingham, in succession to The Right Reverend David Urquhart, following his retirement from the office of CofE Birmingham’s Diocesan Bishop in October 2022.
Today, Church of England Birmingham welcomes the Bishop Designate and his family, beginning with a formal welcome at Birmingham Cathedral by The Rt. Revd Anne Hollinghurst, Bishop of Aston, Acting Bishop of Birmingham and the Very Revd Matt Thompson, Dean of Birmingham. Dr. Volland is then invited to meet with Birmingham University staff and students through the work of the chaplaincy team, hearing about entrepreneurial initiatives and the importance of community on campus.
In the afternoon the party are invited to St Germains Church, Edgbaston, to join with a regular group encompassing the wider community, who meet cafe-style to share conversation about how church might look for them and ask questions about God, in an informal and welcoming space. The day concludes at Birmingham Cathedral with the service of evening prayer led by Dean Matt, joined by a number of Birmingham’s civic leaders and followed by an informal reception.
Bishop Anne said,
‘We look forward to welcoming Michael to the wonderfully diverse city-region that we serve as the Church of England, Birmingham. We pray for him as he prepares to join us in our calling to be a transformed and transforming church at the heart of our communities.’
Michael took up his current role as Principal of Ridley Hall, in January 2017. Before moving to Cambridge, he taught mission, evangelism and church planting to ordinands at Cranmer Hall in Durham, alongside leading the East Durham Mission Project, working with parishes in former mining communities as well as serving as Area Dean of Easington. Michael was educated at Northumbria University, King’s College London and Durham University, and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge.
During his time in Cambridge, Michael has served as President of the Cambridge Theological Federation and as Chair of the national TEI Principals Steering Group. He is currently a member of the Ministry Council of the Church of England. While ministering in the northeast, Michael was chaplain to Durham Army Cadet Force. He was ordained in 2006 and served his title at Gloucester Cathedral.
Michael grew up in Reading where he attended a state secondary school and spent his evenings and weekends with the Boys Brigade and Army Cadets. After a foundation course in Art and Design, Michael spent three years studying sculpture at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle and several years as a practicing artist, funded by working on construction sites. Michael ministered in two parish contexts for six years before being ordained, serving as a youth and children’s worker. His Masters degree, from Kings College London, focused on youth ministry and theological education. Michael’s doctoral research work at Durham University, The Minister as Entrepreneur, was published by SPCK in 2015 and his other published work is in the areas of ecclesiology fresh expressions and leadership, most recently, Accepted in the Beloved: Practical Wisdom for Christian Leaders.
Michael is married to Rachel, an early-years teacher, and together they have three children (20, 18, 15). He is a keen runner, and regularly participates in ultramarathons to raise funds for causes such as Shelter. He has been a member of Christian Surfers for almost 30 years.
Michael will be consecrated on Thursday 30 November, the Feast of St. Andrew. He will pay homage to the King and be installed in Birmingham in the new year. Michael will continue to lead Ridley Hall, through the 2023 Michaelmas term.
Of his nomination as Bishop of Birmingham, Michael said,
“I am excited to be following the call of God to serve the city and region as the next Bishop of Birmingham. The family and I are looking forward to making our home in Birmingham, getting to know and love people and communities, and to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ alongside Christians across the Church of England Birmingham. Please pray for us as we prepare to move into God’s hopeful future.”
Click the link for further information about Ridley Hall, Anglican Theological College, Cambridge
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