John Yates (bishop)

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The Rt Revd
John Yates
MA(Cantab)
Bishop at Lambeth
Church Church of England
In office 1992–1994 (retired)
Predecessor Ronald Gordon
Successor Frank Sargeant
Other posts Honorary assistant bishop in Winchester (1994–2008)
Bishop of Gloucester (1975–1992)
Bishop of Whitby (1972–1975)
Principal, Lichfield Theological College (1966–1972)
Orders
Ordination c. 1951 (deacon); c. 1952 (priest)
Consecration 1972
Personal details
Born (1925-04-17)17 April 1925
Died 26 February 2008(2008-02-26) (aged 82)
Denomination Anglican
Parents Frank & Edith
Spouse Jean Dover (m. 1954; d. 1995)
Revd Beryl Wensley (m. 1998; d. 2006)
Children 1 son; 2 daughter
Alma mater Jesus College, Cambridge
Gloucester Cathedral, memorial to Bishop John Yates

John Yates (17 April 1925 – 26 February 2008) was an Anglican bishop in the Church of England. He was a bishop for 22 years, serving as the Bishop of Whitby from 1972 to 1975, the Bishop of Gloucester[1] from 1975 to 1992 and the Bishop at Lambeth from 1992 to 1994.

Early life[edit]

Yates was born in Burslem, Staffordshire on 17 April 1925[2] (some sources say South London[3]). He was educated first at Battersea Grammar School, then after his evacuation as a result of the outbreak of the Second World War he completed his schooling at Blackpool Grammar School.[4]

He undertook war service in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve becoming a bomb-aimer.[3] Following the war, he went up to Jesus College, Cambridge as a Scholar, taking a first-class degree in theology[3] (some reports say history[4]).

Ministry[edit]

The prebendal stall of Flixton in Lichfield Cathedral which Yates held

He then trained for ordination at Lincoln Theological College[3] and was ordained deacon at St Paul's Cathedral,[2] before embarking on his ecclesiastical career with a curacy at Christ Church, Southgate, in north London.[3] He married Jean Dover in 1954. They had one son and two daughters.

He had a second spell at Lincoln Theological College as Chaplain, (1954–59)[5] and after a six years spent as a parish priest at Bottesford-with-Ashby on the outskirts of Scunthorpe he was appointed as principal of Lichfield Theological College (1966–72).[4][6] He also held the position of Prebendary of Flixton at Lichfield Cathedral. The Lincoln college was threatened with closure, and Archbishop of York Donald Coggan invited him to become Bishop of Whitby (a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of York) in 1972.[7][8] In 1975, he was nominated as Bishop of Gloucester,[9] one of the early appointments of the new Crown Appointments Commission.[2] He and his first wife carried on a practical ministry, daily distributing tea and sandwiches to homeless callers.

In 1979, he chaired a group of 12 scholars appointed by the General Synod's Board for Social Responsibility which produced a report on homosexual relationships.[2] The Gloucester Report controversially contemplated homosexual relationships "involving a physical expression of sexual love".[3] He was also involved in peace efforts in Central America in 1987 and 1988.[2] He led the UK delegation to a conference of the World Council of Churches in Basle.[2] He was chair of the General Synod Board for Social Responsibility from 1987 to 1991.[2]

After 17 years as Bishop of Gloucester, he became the right-hand man of newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, with the title Bishop at Lambeth. He retired to Winchester in 1994.

His first wife died in 1995.[2] He remarried in 1998, to the Reverend Beryl Wensley. His second wife died in 2006 (some reports say 2007). He died in Winchester.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Times, Tuesday, 18 November 1975; p. 17; Issue 59555; col B "New Bishop of Gloucester enthroned"
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Webster, Alan (1 March 2008). "The Right Rev John Yates: Reforming Bishop of Gloucester". The Independent. Retrieved 22 March 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The Right Reverend John Yates". Telegraph.co.uk (The Daily Telegraph). 3 March 2008. p. Issue 47,508. Retrieved 4 March 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c Eyre, Richard (14 March 2008). "Obituary—The Rt Rev John Yates—Cleric with bold views on homosexuality". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. p. 42. Retrieved 14 March 2008. 
  5. ^ The Times Obituary p. 54 Issue no 69,292 (dated 8 April 2008)[1]
  6. ^ Who's Who 2005 London, A & C Black, 2004ISBN 3598219059
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 45577. p. 751. 20 January 1972. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  8. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1975-76 London: Oxford University Press, 1976 ISBN 0-19-200008-X
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46658. p. 1026. 12 August 1975. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
George Snow
Bishop of Whitby
1972–1975
Succeeded by
Clifford Barker
Preceded by
Basil Guy
Bishop of Gloucester
1975–1992
Succeeded by
Peter Ball
Preceded by
Ronald Gordon
Bishop at Lambeth
1992–1994
Succeeded by
Frank Sargeant