Stephen Lowe (bishop)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For others of this name, see Stephen Lowe.
The Rt Revd
Stephen Lowe
Bishop of Hulme
Rt Rev Stephen Lowe Bishop of Hulme.jpg
Diocese Diocese of Manchester
In office 1999–July 2009 (retired)
Predecessor Colin Scott
Other posts Honorary assistant bishop in St Asaph (2009–present)
Bishop for Urban Life and Faith (2006–2009)
Archdeacon of Sheffield (1988–1999)
Ordination c. 1968 (deacon); c. 1969 (priest)
Consecration 1999
Personal details
Born (1944-03-03) 3 March 1944 (age 70)
Denomination Anglican
Parents Leonard & Marguerite
Spouse Pauline Richards (m. 1967)
Children 1 son; 1 daughter
Profession Writer; broadcaster
Alma mater Birmingham Polytechnic

Stephen Richard Lowe (born 3 March 1944) was, until his retirement in July 2009, the suffragan Bishop of Hulme in the Anglican Diocese of Manchester, Link Bishop for Namibia and Chair of the Urban Bishops Panel. Whilst retaining these roles, he was released from all pastoral oversight in the diocese in order to concentrate on his 2006 appointment as the Church of England's first Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, promoting and disseminating the conclusions of the Faithful Cities report.[1]

From 1988 to 1999 he had served as Archdeacon of Sheffield.

Lowe is noted for his comments on the hymn I Vow to Thee, My Country in August 2004, when he called for its first verse to be removed from Church of England services, calling it "totally heretical".[2] He believed it placed national loyalties above religious ones and encouraged racism and an unquestioning support of governments. His words sparked a debate on the wider implications of the hymn.[3] [4] He has also defended the Church's review of its shares in Caterpillar Inc. and other companies used in the occupied territories by Israel,[5] and the Church's planned sale of Jacob And His Twelve Sons by Francisco de Zurbarán.[6] More recently, he has become noted as a supporter of Archbishop Rowan Williams in the media controversy over Williams' remarks on sharia law, calling the media treatment of Williams "disgraceful" and a "knee-jerk" reaction in interviews on Newsnight and Radio 4 on 8 February and an appearance on Question Time on 14 February 2008.[7][8] In June 2008 a report commissioned by Lowe, Moral, But No Compass – Church, Government And The Future of Welfare, by Francis Davis and Elizabath Paulhus was the lead story in The Times and has subsequently been the subject of two House of Lords debates. In June 2009 his book, What Makes a Good City? Public Theology and the Urban Church (which Lowe had co-authored with the theologian Elaine Graham), was published by Darton, Longman and Todd.


  1. ^ "The Church of England is to appoint its first Bishop for Urban Life and Faith". 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  2. ^ "Ban this racist hymn, says bishop". Daily Telegraph. 2004-08-12. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  3. ^ Today programme (2004-08-13). "I Vow To Thee My Country". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  4. ^ Hanson, Gerry (2004-09-28). "Patriotism and Sacrifice". Diocese of Oxford Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  5. ^ "Bishop defends Church Israel move". BBC News. 19 February 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  6. ^ "Church to sell art treasures". BBC News. 20 September 2001. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  7. ^ "Williams 'shocked' at Sharia row". BBC News. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  8. ^ "Archbishop defends Sharia remarks". BBC News. 2008-02-09. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Michael Paton
Archdeacon of Sheffield
Succeeded by
Richard Blackburn