Christopher Cocksworth

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The Right Reverend
Christopher Cocksworth
Bishop of Coventry
Diocese Diocese of Coventry
Installed 1 November 2008
Predecessor Colin Bennetts
Other posts Principal, Ridley Hall, Cambridge (2001–2008)
Ordination 1984
Consecration 3 July 2008
Personal details
Born (1959-01-12) 12 January 1959 (age 58)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence The Bishop's House, Coventry
Spouse Charlotte
Children 5 sons
Profession Bishop, theologian
Alma mater University of Manchester

Christopher John Cocksworth (born 12 January 1959) is a Church of England bishop in the open evangelical tradition. He is the current (9th) Bishop of Coventry. He is the youngest serving diocesan bishop in the Church of England. He was consecrated as bishop in Southwark Cathedral, London, on 3 July 2008 and was enthroned on 1 November 2008. Prior to becoming bishop he was the Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He is the son-in-law of David Pytches, former diocesan Bishop of Chile, Bolivia & Peru.


He was brought up in Horsham and attended Forest School for Boys and Collyer's Sixth form College, then the University of Manchester where he earned a first class degree in theology and later was awarded a PhD under the supervision of Richard Bauckham. Having studied for ordination at St John's College, Nottingham, he became a curate at Christ Church, Epsom Common in the Diocese of Guildford in 1988.[1] In 1992, he moved to become chaplain of Royal Holloway, University of London until 1997. He then became director of the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme; a position he relinquished in 2001. He was made an honorary canon of Guildford Cathedral in 1999. He was later the principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge.[2] His nomination for the appointment of Bishop of Coventry on the retirement of Colin Bennetts was announced on 3 March 2008.[3][4] He was formally elected by the cathedral chapter in May 2008, following the issue of a Congé d'Elire by the Queen on 6 May 2008.[5] He was consecrated as a bishop on 3 July 2008 in Southwark Cathedral[6] and was enthroned on 1 November 2008.[7][8] He is the youngest serving diocesan bishop.[4]

He was a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission from 1999 to 2006, and was involved in revising the ordination services and the Common Worship daily prayer compilation and is the current chair of the Faith and Order Commission of the General Synod.

He is married to Charlotte and they have five sons: Tim, Ash, Sam, Seb and Matt.

On 15 July 2009, Cocksworth was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, of the University of London. The award was conferred by Royal Holloway, University of London, at a ceremony held in the college’s chapel. The University of London awards honorary degrees to those of conspicuous merit, outstanding in their field, or those who have given exceptional service to the university. Cocksworth was honoured for his services to education – particularly higher education – and to the church as well as for his service to Royal Holloway.[9]


Cocksworth has written widely on theological matters, with some of his books including:

  • Renewing Daily Prayer: An Introduction to Celebrating Common Prayer (1992)
  • Evangelical Eucharistic Thought in the Church of England (1993)
  • An Anglican Companion, with Alan Wilkinson (1996)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy, Worshipping the Trinitarian God (1997)
  • Prayer and the Departed (1997)
  • Common Worship: An Introduction (2001)
  • Wisdom: The Spirit's Gift (2003)
  • Being a Priest Today: Exploring Priestly Identity, with Rosalind Brown (2002, 2nd ed. 2006)
  • Holding Together: Gospel, Church and Spirit (2008), which was nominated for the 2011 Michael Ramsey Book Prize.[10]


  • The Reverend Christopher Cocksworth (1988–1989)
  • The Reverend Doctor Christopher Cocksworth (1989–1999)
  • The Reverend Canon Doctor Christopher Cocksworth (1999–2008)
  • The Right Reverend Doctor Christopher Cocksworth (2008–present)


  1. ^ Who’s Who 2008 (London, A & C Black, 2008) ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  2. ^ Crockfords on-line accessed 24 March 2008
  3. ^ Number 10 — Diocese of Coventry
  4. ^ a b Diocese of Coventry's Press Release regarding Dr Cocksworth's appointment
  5. ^ "no. 58694". The London Gazette. 9 May 2008. p. 7105. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  6. ^ Start the Week—Consecration of the new Bishop of Coventry, Coventry Cathedral newsletter, 27 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30
  7. ^ "The New Bishop Of Coventry". Diocese of Coventry. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to the new Bishop of Coventry". Coventry Telegraph. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-11-18. 
  9. ^ "Bishop to receive prestigious honour". Diocese of Coventry. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 21 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Search results for Christopher J. Cocksworth at Worldcat. Retrieved 2008-08-07
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Colin Bennetts
Bishop of Coventry