|The Rt Revd
|Former Bishop of Durham|
|Diocese||Diocese of Durham|
|Other posts||Honorary assistant bishop in Canterbury, Rochester & Europe (2003–present)
Bishop of Rochester
|Ordination||1961, Manchester Cathedral|
|Consecration||29 September 1988, Canterbury Cathedral|
|Born||27 December 1935
Wombwell, South Yorkshire
|Alma mater||Keble College, Oxford and St John's College, Durham|
Turnbull was born in Wombwell, South Yorkshire. He was a student at Keble College, Oxford, graduating in 1958. He prepared for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall and St John's College, University of Durham. He was ordained deacon in 1960 and priest in 1961 in Manchester Cathedral. After ordination he initially served as curate of Middleton in the Diocese of Manchester before moving in 1961 to be curate of Luton with East Hyde in the Diocese of Saint Albans. In 1965, he moved to York to be domestic chaplain to the Archbishop of York (Donald Coggan) and director of ordinands for the Diocese of York. In 1969, he was appointed chaplain to the University of York, a position he held in conjunction with being vicar of nearby Heslington. In 1976, he was appointed chief secretary of the Church Army. In 1984, he was appointed Archdeacon of Rochester and was then to be consecrated as the Bishop of Rochester in 1988. From 1994 until his retirement in 2003, he was the Bishop of Durham, the fourth most senior bishop in the Church of England with a seat in the House of Lords.
Turnbull was appointed CBE in 2003 for services to the North East and to the Church of England. He holds honorary doctorates from Greenwich University (D.Litt) and Durham University (DD). He is a Deputy Lieutenant in the County of Kent.
Turnbull's leadership of the Church of England focused on reorganisation of its administrative structures. He chaired the Turnbull Commission (Archbishops' Commission on the Organisation of the Church of England) which led to the creation of the Archbishops' Council in 1995. After the commission had finished its duties, he was appointed chairman of the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council. His other posts have included Member of Commission on English Cathedrals (1992-4)Vice Chairman, Central Board of Finance (1990-19980, Board Member of Church Commissioners (1989-1998) Archbishops' Council and chairman of the Ministry Division (1998-2000) Chairman Foundation for Church Leadership (2003-2007)Chairman North East Constitutional Convention (1999-2003)and campaign for English Regions (2000-2003) Chairman Bible Reading Fellowship (1985-1994) and of College of Preachers(1990-1998)and of Council of Scargill House ( 1969-1976)
Despite speaking out against openly homosexual clergy in 1993, it was revealed in 1994 that Turnbull had been arrested and convicted of committing acts of gross indecency in a public lavatory in 1968. This led Peter Tatchell and others to protest against what they saw as his hypocrisy when he was enthroned as bishop.
Turnbull is married to Brenda and the couple, who live in Kent, have three children (Rachel, Mark and Becky) and seven grandchildren (Emily, Karen, James, Charlotte, Isobel, Hugh and Henry). Following episcopal tradition, he signed his name +Michael Roffen while he was Bishop of Rochester and +Michael Dunelm while he was Bishop of Durham.
In retirement, Turnbull is an honorary assistant bishop in the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester and Europe. His writing includes God's Front Line, Parish Evangelism, Learning to pray and The state of the Church and the Church of the State (2012).
|Church of England titles|
|Bishop of Rochester
|Bishop of Durham