Ellie's ministry to date has been within the Diocese of Wellington; she was ordained in 2005 and was Vicar of the Parish of St Alban’s, Eastbourne, Chaplain to Wellesley College, and the Diocesan Canon Theologian prior to her appointment as Assistant Bishop. She additionally served in a wide range of roles in academic and not-for-profit development organisations. In the Diocese of Wellington, she has led intentional discipleship programmes which resource Christians to go deeper in their relationship with God and equip them to build up mission and discipleship with others.
Ellie is married to Tim and is mother to two boys aged 12 and 14.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said, “I'm delighted that Eleanor Sanderson will be the next Bishop of Hull. She has a great zest for life, and the joy she finds in her faith just shines out of her. She and Bishop Justin Duckworth are torchbearers for the church in bringing it back to its central calling to attend to God, in order to go forward with really practical and sacrificial responses to modern challenges in the world we all share. Ellie has her feet planted on the ground and her eyes on Jesus as she rolls up her sleeves to get involved with God's people.
“She was born in the Diocese of York so this is a homecoming; I know that the Diocese and particularly the people of Hull, the East Riding and on the Yorkshire coast will come to love her quickly, and that she, Tim and their sons Joe and Zac will be taken to all our hearts as they join us in living Christ's story here.”
Bishop Eleanor Sanderson said, “I'm so excited and humbled to be called to follow Alison White as Bishop of Hull. It's a great honour to take this title from such a vibrant and historic city as Hull, and to renew a connection between this city and my family village of Tideswell in Derbyshire, which was also the home of the first Bishop of Hull, Bishop Pursglove in the 1500s. I'm looking forward to getting to know Hull and its people and to exploring the villages and towns of the East Riding Archdeaconry and the Yorkshire coast too.
“In Wellington we have recognised the need to stop and turn to God, offering ourselves in partnership with Jesus to be a transformative movement of local faith communities - and in so many places here I see the same thing happening, through the Mustard Seed and Multiply initiatives, through the processes of transformation within and through local churches as part of our commitment to Live Christ's Story. Above all, I have been deeply struck by how readily people here can testify to the hope of Christ visible around them. It will be an honour to interweave my own strands of faith, hope and love with the faith hope and love lived so vibrantly within the Diocese of York.
“I'm looking forward to living the friendship of Jesus alongside Archbishop Stephen, Archdeacon Andy, all the clergy and the whole family of God within the East Riding Archdeaconry, and to bringing my family to live in these wonderful communities within Yorkshire, serving God together in the land and coastlines where I was born.”
Bishop of Wellington the Rt Revd Justin Duckworth said, “It is with great heaviness of heart that we say farewell to Bishop Eleanor, Tim, Zac and Joe. Knowing them as we do we are certain that God will do great things with them in the Diocese of York. It feels a little like the seeds sown in Hull by William Wilberforce, the Clapham Sect and the Church Missionary Society blew to Aotearoa New Zealand, and now those seeds blow back again with Bishop Eleanor and family. We are excited to see the missional discipleship adventure unfold.”
Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia Philip Richardson said, “Bishop Eleanor’s appointment to the See of Hull is an occasion of both real sadness and deep rejoicing. Bishop Eleanor has made an extraordinary contribution to the life of our church over many years and most recently as a bishop in the Diocese of Wellington. She has brought her unique gifts to bear in a period of significant transformation in the focus of mission within that diocese. She has become a respected and highly valued member of the House of Bishops in this church. As such, we will be extremely sad to see her go but we genuinely rejoice in the discernment that God is calling her to serve within the Diocese of York as Bishop of Hull.
“This is a very significant call and responsibility which Bishop Eleanor is well equipped to meet. We know that our church will remain close to her heart as she will remain in ours. We wish her, the clergy and people of the East Riding every blessing in this new time of episcopal leadership.”
Bishop Eleanor's formal inauguration as Bishop of Hull will take place in the autumn of 2022; details will be published when confirmed.