Alan Smith (bishop)

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The Rt Revd
Dr Alan Smith
MA PhD[1]
Bishop of St Albans
Bishop Alan Smith 2011.jpg
Bishop Smith (August 2011)
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of St Albans
Installed 2009
Predecessor The Rt Revd Christopher Herbert
Other posts Bishop of Shrewsbury (2001–2009)
Archdeacon of Stoke (1997-2001)
Ordination 1981
Consecration 2001
Personal details
Born (1957-02-14) 14 February 1957 (age 58)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Abbey Gate House, St Albans
Alma mater University of Birmingham

Alan Gregory Clayton Smith (born 14 February 1957) is the current Bishop of St Albans,[1] and formerly area Bishop of Shrewsbury.[2]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born on 14 February 1957 to Frank Eric Smith and Rosemary Clayton Smith. He was educated at Trowbridge Grammar School for Boys and the University of Birmingham where he obtained a degree in Theology. He was also awarded a MA for his thesis 'The Poetic Art of the Hebrew Prophets' in 1979 .[3] He trained for the priesthood at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.


After ordination in 1981 in Bradford Cathedral he began his career as assistant curate at St Lawrence and St Paul Pudsey.[4] In 1982 he was priested at Christ Church, Skipton. In 1984 he took up the post as Chaplain of the Lee Abbey Community, near Lynton in North Devon,[5] where had particular responsibility for mission and the creative arts. In 1989 he was appointed as the Diocesan Missioner and Executive Secretary of the Board for Mission and Unity for the Lichfield[6] and finally in 1997 (before his elevation to the Episcopate)[7] Archdeacon of Stoke.[8] While Archdeacon he was chaired the North Staffordshire Faiths in Friendship. He served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England from 1999. In 2001 he was consecrated the Bishop of Shrewsbury (one of the suffragan sees in the Diocese of Lichfield). He was chair of the Shropshire Strategic Partnership from 2006-2009. and was a member of the Rural Bishops' Panel from 2006-2009. In 2002 he completed his PhD as an external student of the University of Wales (Bangor).[8] For Lent 2006 Smith committed himself to living on the minimum wage.[9]

His election as Bishop of St Albans by the College of Canons of the Cathedral took place on 13 February, and the Confirmation of Election with the Archbishop of Canterbury followed on 31 March.[10] Smith's inauguration took place on 19 September 2009.[11] In 2010 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of Birmingham.

He has contributed chapters to Changing Rural Life (2004) and Celebrating Community: God's Gift for Today's World (2006). He has written Growing up in Multi-faith Britain: Explorations in Youth, Ethnicity and Religion (2007), God-Shaped Mission: A Perspective from the Rural Church (2008), and co-authored The Reflective Leader (2011). He was joint editor of Faith and the Future of the Countryside (2012).

From 2009 to 2011 he was joint chairman of the Anglican Methodist Working Party on the Ecclesiology of Emerging Expressions of Church which produced the report Fresh Expression in the Mission of the Church (2012). For the centenary of the newly reconfigured Diocese of St Albans in 2014 he wrote Saints and Pilgrims in the Diocese of St Albans (2013).

On 4 November 2013 he took his seat in the House of Lords as a member of the Lords Spiritual.


Bishop Smith in procession to his cathedral in 2010.
  • Alan Smith Esq (1957–1981)
  • The Revd Alan Smith (1981–1997)
  • The Ven Alan Smith (1997–2001)
  • The Rt Revd Alan Smith (2001–2002)
  • The Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith (2002—)


Church of England titles
Preceded by
David Hallatt
Bishop of Shrewsbury
Succeeded by
Mark Rylands
Preceded by
Christopher Herbert
Bishop of St Albans