Godfrey Ashby

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Godfrey Ashby
Assistant Bishop of Leicester
DioceseDiocese of Leicester
In office1987–1995
SuccessorBill Down
Other postsDean of Grahamstown (1975–1980)
Bishop of St John's (1980–1985)
Ordination1955 (deacon)
1956 (priest)
Personal details
Born (1930-11-06) 6 November 1930 (age 88)
ParentsWilliam & Vera Hickey
Sally Hawtree (m. 1957–2015)
Children4 sons; 2 daughters
ProfessionWriter (theologian)
Alma materKing's College London

Godfrey William Ernest Candler Ashby (born 6 November 1930) is a British Anglican bishop, theologian, and academic. From 1980 to 1985, he was the eighth Bishop of St John's in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. From 1988 to 1995, he was the Assistant Bishop of Leicester in the Church of England.

Early life[edit]

Ashby was educated at The King's School, an independent school in Chester, Cheshire.[1] He studied at King's College London, and graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree and the Associateship of King's College (AKC).[2] He also became a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Ordained ministry[edit]

Ashby was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1955 and as a priest in 1956.[2] His first post was as a Curate in the Parish of St Helier in the Diocese of Southwark.[3]

In 1958, Ashby emigrated to South Africa.[2] Here he rose steadily in the church hierarchy, being successively: Subwarden of St Paul's College, Grahamstown; Rector of Alice, Eastern Cape; a senior lecturer in Hebrew at Rhodes University; Dean of Grahamstown and Archdeacon in the Diocese of Grahamstown.[4][2]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

In 1980, Ashby was consecrated a bishop.[2] From 1980 to 1985, he served as Bishop of St John's, the diocesan bishop.[5] He was then Professor of Divinity at the University of the Witwatersrand.[2]

In 1988, Ashby moved back to England. He served as the Assistant Bishop of Leicester in the Diocese of Leicester from 1988 to 1995. Additionally, he was Priest-in-Charge of All Saints, Newtown Linford between 1992 and 1995. In 1993, he was made an Honorary Canon of Leicester Cathedral.[2]

Ashby retired from full-time ministry in 1995. He returned to South Africa, where he served as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of George. In 2008, he returned to England, and is now an Honorary Assistant Bishop. He served in the Diocese of Portsmouth between 2008 and 2011. He has served in the Diocese of Exeter since 2011.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Bishop Ashby was married to Valerie "Sally" Ashby, née Hawtree (she died on 7 October 2015). Together, they had six children: Garmon, John-Mark, Mary, Philip, Ruth, and Charles.


  • Theodoret of Cyrrhus as exegete of the Old Testament. Grahamstown: Rhodes University. 1972.[6]
  • Sacrifice: its nature and purpose. SCM. 1988. ISBN 978-0-334-01437-9.
  • Go Out and Meet God: A Commentary on the Book of Exodus. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. January 1998. ISBN 978-0-8028-4332-6.


  1. ^ Who's Who 2012. A&C Black. 2011. ISBN 978-1-4081-4229-5.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Godfrey William Ernest Candler Ashby". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  3. ^ Parish details
  4. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory: A Reference Book of the Clergy of the Provinces of Canterbury and York and of Other Anglican Provinces and Dioceses. Oxford University Press. 1976. ISBN 978-0-19-200008-8. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Resignation of the Bishop of St John's". The Times (62173). 25 June 1985. p. 14 col D.
  6. ^ Magill, Frank Northen; Aves, Alison (1998). Dictionary of World Biography. Taylor & Francis. pp. 1140–. ISBN 978-1-57958-040-7.
Anglican Church of Southern Africa titles
Preceded by
Michael Nuttall
Dean of Grahamstown
Succeeded by
Roy Barker
Preceded by
James Schuster
Bishop of St John's
Succeeded by
Jacob Dlamini
New title Assistant Bishops of Leicester
Succeeded by
Bill Down