The Reverend Philip North, Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras, has been appointed by the Queen as the Suffragan Bishop of Whitby, in succession to the Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner.

The Revd Philip North (pictured right at Thirsk Auction Mart) said, “I am excited and humbled to have been appointed as Bishop of Whitby and will do my best to serve the people of the Cleveland Archdeaconry and the Diocese of York, both in urban and rural areas. The North East of England is very dear to my heart, having been a vicar there for many years, and it’s great to be coming back. I’m looking forward to meeting people and helping churches make the Gospel known in their communities.

“I was born and grew up in North London. I studied history at the University of York and came to love the city and the county very greatly. I began to explore a call to Ordination whilst the Church of England was grappling with issues surrounding poverty following the publication of Faith in the City, and as a result of that I spent a year as Pastoral Assistant on the Redhouse Estate in Sunderland.

“I trained for the Priesthood at St Stephen's House in Oxford, and then returned to the North-east to serve as a curate in Sunderland. I then spent six years working in the West View estate in North Hartlepool. Over these ten years I developed a great love for the Northeast and its people and relished the challenges of developing church life on large housing estates.

“I then moved to the Diocese of Norwich where I spent six years ministering to the tens of thousands of pilgrims who visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. It was good to be at Walsingham at a time of change and development and to oversea a large building project intended to make the Shrine more accessible to visitors.

“Four years ago I moved back to the inner city to take up an appointment as Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras. This large Parish includes within its boundaries the main London termini of Kings Cross, St Pancras and Euston as well as Camden Market and is an incredibly diverse and mixed area to work.

“Whilst I will be sad to leave Parish life behind, I relish the opportunity to return to the north of England and to an area which is so close to my heart. I am especially excited by the diversity of the Cleveland Archdeaconry and look forward to the opportunity to support clergy and Parishes serving an extremely varied range of environments - from the inner city to rural life, from market towns to fishing villages.

“As a keen walker and cyclist I look forward to being close to the Cleveland Hills and North York Moors. I also used to play cricket for the Diocese of Durham and was often on the wrong end of a hefty thumping from the Diocese of York. It would be good to think that I might have the opportunity to be on the winning side!”

The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu said, "I am delighted that Fr Philip North has been appointed as the new Bishop of Whitby. He is a man of great faith and integrity and has a real heart for serving the community. I am sure that his passion for helping others will shine through in the Cleveland Archdeaconry and the Diocese of York. He will be joining a team committed together to make Christ visible through Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples"

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres said: “Fr Philip North has been an energetic presence both in the parish and in the wider Diocese over these past four years. He has been at the forefront of fresh thinking on a properly catholic evangelism in God’s Church. We will miss him greatly and pray that as Bishop of Whitby his enthusiasm and zeal for the Gospel will strengthen the mission and ministry of our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of York.”

The Revd Philip North (aged 45) studied at the University of York, and was ordained in 1992. He was Assistant Curate at St Mary the Virgin and St Peter in Sunderland until 1996, and Vicar of Holy Trinity Hartlepool and Rural Dean of Hartlepool until 2002. He was Priest Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham from 2002 to 2008, and Team Rector of the Parish of Old St Pancras, London from 2008.

You can see photos from the press call at Thirsk Auction Mart here.