Paul Ferguson was born and brought up in Birkenhead on Merseyside – a town which, he says, is as near to the north-west’s equivalent of Middlesbrough as can be.
As a youngster he began to play the piano and the organ, which led to him going to New College, Oxford as Organ Scholar where he studied music. He trained as a teacher and briefly returned to his old school as a staff member. But alongside his organ playing and teaching he had the opportunity to see closely the daily work and ministry of a parish priest, and so it was that he went to Westcott House, Cambridge as an ordinand, taking a theology degree at King’s College.
Paul was ordained to a title post at St Mary’s, Handbridge, Chester. He went on to Westminster Abbey, where he was first Chaplain (where his duties involved the pastoral care of staff and worshippers) and then Precentor (with responsibility for the Abbey’s daily and special services). In 1995 he came to York Minster as Precentor and Residentiary Canon, and in 2001 was appointed Archdeacon of Cleveland on the retirement of Christopher Hawthorn. He was consecrated as Bishop of Whitby in June 2014.
He is a member of the Church of England’s Porvoo Panel which oversees links with the Scandinavian and Baltic Lutheran churches. He is author of Great is the Mystery of Faith: exploring faith through the words of worship (Canterbury Press). Paul is Chair of the Diocese of York Educational Trust (DYET).
Paul was married to Penny, who died in January 2022. He has three grown-up children and five grandchildren. His interests include music, walking, and Scandinavian language and culture.