New Bishop of Chelmsford for 2021

Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani

Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani - Credit: Diocese of Chelmsford

The Right Reverend Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani will be the next Bishop of Chelmsford, succeeding the Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, who became
Archbishop of York earlier this year.

Bishop Guli is currently Bishop of Loughborough in the Diocese of Leicester, a post she has occupied since late 2017. Bishop Guli will take up her new appointment in 2021, and will be introduced to the diocese through a series of videos, online meetings and online worship.

Bishop Guli said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed as the next Bishop of Chelmsford. I know there are many challenges ahead both in the church and wider society, not least as a result of the pandemic. However, I am hopeful about the future.

"As Christian communities, I believe our task is to be faithful; to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to continue serving the world; to work well together and in partnership with others. In doing this, we’ll discover the extent of God’s love.

“I want to thank my friends and colleagues in Leicester Diocese where I have been very happy. I will be sad to say goodbye, but at the same time I am very excited about this next chapter in my ministry.”

Bishop Guli said it had been the first selection process for a diocesan bishop that has taken place entirely on Zoom and she will continue to use the online video platform. However, she is looking forward to visiting Essex and East London in the New Year, to meeting people face to face and discussing how to build on the outstanding work that churches have done to support their communities during the pandemic.

Bishop Guli’s predecessor as Bishop of Chelmsford, Archbishop Stephen Cottrell said: “It is with great joy that I welcome the appointment of Guli Francis-Dehqani as the next Bishop of Chelmsford.

"Guli will bring to the exciting diversity of the Chelmsford diocese her breadth of vision, her international experience, her love of the gospel, her pastoral heart, and her passion for justice.”

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The Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Martyn Snow said Bishop Guli’s contribution to the Diocese of Leicester had been hugely significant.

"She has championed our work with people of BAME heritage and grown our links with a number of partner organisations.

"She has renewed our vocations work and helped to support clergy through the demands of the pandemic and lockdown. And alongside all of this, she has contributed extensively to national and international church bodies.

"She and her family will be a wonderful gift to the Diocese of Chelmsford.”