Our Episcopal Visitor

The Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield

According to the Guidelines laid down by the Church of England[1], every community must have an Episcopal Visitor or Guardian. The Episcopal Visitor is the guarantor to the Church at large of the Order’s sound administration, stability, and right to confidence.

Our Episcopal Visitor is the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop for the Area of Wakefield and in the Diocese of Leeds. We are extremely blessed to have Bishop Tony as our Episcopal Visitor!

Although the Church expects a Visitor to make at least one visitation every five years, we are very fortunate in that Bishop Tony attempts to undertake more regular visits and tries to join us once a year at one of our Chapter meetings when he usually spends time with every community member.

Every brother has unhindered access to the Episcopal Visitor and our Prior and all members of our Order may seek his advice, guidance, and counsel from time to time as we deem appropriate. According to our Charter, our Episcopal Visitor is (re)elected by the professed brothers for a period of ten years.[2]

Biography: Bishop Tony was born and educated in Bedford. He taught mathematics and computer studies in a comprehensive school in Chelmsford before training for the priesthood. Since he was ordained, Bishop Tony has worked in parishes with significant ethnic communities. His first parish was in Tottenham opposite the Spurs football ground, a lively parish with a predominance of African and Caribbean people in the congregation and community. He then moved to Leicester to a large team parish working alongside three other clergy and three Sisters, where he helped establish four community projects including an innovative project working with men who had committed domestic violence. The parish embraced a wonderful mix of peoples, including the largest Hindu community in Britain as well as people from other faith communities. Bishop Tony moved to West Yorkshire in 1997 to work first as the Archdeacon of Pontefract and since 2002 as the Bishop of Pontefract in the Diocese of Wakefield. As well as sustaining the church family, his passion is to encourage the church to look outwards, to be involved with its local community, to improve opportunity and understanding and work towards a more cohesive common life.  His commitment to working with all communities in the area means that he has extensive interfaith involvement. Urban, multi-ethnic and multi-faith have been themes of Tony’s ministry. He has regular meetings with other Faith communities in Wakefield. In his diocese Bishop Tony chairs diocesan links with the Dioceses of Mara, Rorya and Tarime in Tanzania and Faisalabad in Pakistan. 

Nationally, he chairs the Church of England Presence and Engagement task Group which supports the Church’s mission in areas with large ethnic communities. He is the patron of Street AngelsChristian Nightlife Initiatives, a post held since 2010 and is Chairman of Forward in Faith and chairman of the Council of Bishops of The Society.

Bishop Tony enjoys cooking, rugby and cricket, music and the theatre. 

[1] The Advisory Council on the Relations of Bishops and Religious Communities

[2] Our Charter, Article B 5:1-9, The Order’s Governing Documents