John Pritchard (bishop)

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For other people named John Pritchard, see John Pritchard (disambiguation).
The Right Reverend
John Pritchard
Bishop of Oxford
John Pritchard 2007 St Giles Fair.jpg
Pritchard at the 2007 St Giles' Fair, Oxford
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Oxford
In office 2007–31 October 2014 (retired)[1]
Predecessor Richard Harries
Successor Steven Croft
Other posts Bishop of Jarrow
Ordination 1972 (deacon)
1973 (priest)
Consecration January 2002
by David Hope
Personal details
Born (1948-04-22) 22 April 1948 (age 68)
Salford, Greater Manchester
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Richmond, North Yorkshire
Parents Neil Pritchard and Winifred Savill[2]
Spouse Wendy Claridge[3]
Children 2 daughters; Amanda and Nicola[3]
Alma mater St Peter's College, Oxford

John Lawrence Pritchard (born 22 April 1948) is a Church of England bishop. He was the Bishop of Oxford from 2007 to 2014. He is in the Open Evangelical tradition.

Early life[edit]

Pritchard was born on 22 April 1948 in Salford, Lancashire.[4] He was educated at Arnold School, then an all-boys direct grant grammar school in Blackpool, Lancashire.[2] He studied law at St Peter's College, Oxford, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1970; as per tradition, his BA was promoted to an Oxford Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1973.[5]

In 1970, Pritchard entered Ridley Hall, Cambridge, an Anglican theological colllege.[5] He then studied theology and trained for ordination for the next two years. In 1972, he received a Certificate in Pastoral Theology.[2]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Pritchard was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1972 and as a priest in 1973.[5] From 1972 to 1976 he served as a curate at St Martin in the Bull Ring, Birmingham and, from 1976 to 1980, he was Youth Chaplain and Assistant Director of Education in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. In 1980 he became priest in charge of Wilton, Taunton. From 1988 he was Director of Pastoral Studies at Cranmer Hall, Durham and, from 1993, the college's warden. In 1996, he became Archdeacon of Canterbury and a canon residentiary of Canterbury Cathedral.

Episcopal ministry[edit]

In January 2002, Pritchard was consecrated as a bishop by David Hope, the Archbishop of York.[3] Then, from 2002 to 2007, he served as the Bishop of Jarrow, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Durham.[5]

On 11 December 2006 it was announced that Pritchard would become the 42nd Bishop of Oxford. Having taken office at his confirmation-of-election in London on 23 March 2007, he began his ministry in the diocese on 8 June 2007 after a service of inauguration at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.[6] In 2008, he supported the application by Muslims in Oxford to broadcast the adhan from the minaret of a mosque. As a result, he received hostile comments and letters of complaint.[7][8][9]

John Pritchard retired as Bishop of Oxford on 31 October 2014.[10] In 2015, he was appointed an honorary assistant bishop of the Diocese of Durham.

Personal life[edit]

Pritchard is married to Wendy and has two daughters, Amanda and Nicola. Following retirement Pritchard and his wife live in Richmond, North Yorkshire.[3]




  1. ^ Diocese of Oxford – Bishop John lays down his staff (Accessed 1 November 2014)
  2. ^ a b c ‘OXFORD, Bishop of’, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2011 Accessed 8 May 2012
  3. ^ a b c d Diocese of Oxford — Bishops and Archdeacons
  4. ^ "Birthdays", The Guardian, 22 April 2014 
  5. ^ a b c d "John Lawrence Pritchard". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 1 July 2016.  (subscription required)
  6. ^ Bishopric of Oxford
  7. ^ Bates, Stephen (13 March 2008). "People". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-03-12. 
  8. ^ "Bishop's death threats over mosque plan". The Daily Telegraph. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  9. ^ "Bishop receives death threats for backing Muslim prayer call". Islamic Republic News Agency. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  10. ^ "Bishop of Oxford to retire after seven years". BBC. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2015-05-11. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Ian Cundy
Warden of Cranmer Hall
Succeeded by
Steven Croft
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Michael Till
Archdeacon of Canterbury
Succeeded by
Patrick Evans
Preceded by
Alan Smithson
Bishop of Jarrow
Succeeded by
Mark Bryant
Preceded by
Richard Harries
Bishop of Oxford
Succeeded by
Steven Croft