Lindsay Urwin

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The Right Reverend
Lindsay Urwin
Vicar of Christ Church Brunswick
Lindsay Urwin.jpg
Urwin in 2009
Church Anglican Church of Australia
Diocese Melbourne
Other posts Bishop of Horsham (1993-2009)
Administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (2009-2015)
Ordination 1980 (deacon)
1981 (priest)
Consecration 1993
by George Carey
Personal details
Born (1956-03-13) 13 March 1956 (age 61)
Nationality Australian
Denomination Anglican
Alma mater Ripon College Cuddesdon

Lindsay Goodall Urwin OGS (born 13 March 1956) is an Australian Anglican bishop. Urwin was the area Bishop of Horsham in the Diocese of Chichester, in southern England, from 1993 to 2009, and was also the principal organiser of the annual Caister Conference. He was the Administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham from 2009 to 2015. On 12 April 2015, his appointment was announced as Vicar of Christ Church Brunswick in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, Australia. He was inducted on 15 September 2015.[1]

Early life[edit]

Urwin was born in Australia and attended Camberwell Grammar School in Melbourne. He began theology study at the Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne in 1974, and was preparing for acceptance as an ordination candidate for the Diocese of Melbourne.[2] In 1976 Urwin moved to England where he resumed studies in theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon.[3] He later received a MA degree in liturgy in 2003 from Heythrop College, University of London.[4]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Urwin was ordained deacon in 1980 and priest in 1981. After being the curate of St Peter's, Walworth (1980–83) he was then the vicar of St Faith's, North Dulwich (1983–88).

Urwin was a diocesan missioner in the Chichester diocese from 1988 to 1993 before being asked by the then Bishop of Chichester, Eric Kemp, to be the Bishop of Horsham in West Sussex in 1993 at the age of 37. He became a member of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd (OGS) in 1991 and served as its United Kingdom provincial (head) from 1996 to 2005. OGS is an international religious society of priests and laymen bound together by a common rule and discipline, including a requirement of celibacy.

On 14 August 2008 it was announced that Urwin had accepted a new appointment as Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.[5] As a result, he tendered his resignation as area Bishop of Horsham on 28 February 2009.[6] He was the administrator of the shrine from early 2009 until early September 2015. He has returned to Australia to become the vicar of Christ Church, Brunswick, in the Diocese of Melbourne as well as the Bishop for Schools in the diocese.

In 2011, Urwin received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Nashotah House.

Issues of sexuality[edit]

Urwin has stated his personal position on homosexuality as follows:[7]

"I'm a celibate bishop - there is no other option. Whether heterosexual or homosexual or the grey in between, a bishop has no choice. The Church has a right to expect that he will be an example to the flock."
He may have all the compassion in the world for others; be sympathetic, tolerant and respectful to those who feel unable to embrace the Church's teaching, and number them among his dearest friends. In his own mind he may even wonder about the current stand of the Church on marriage or homosexuality, but if he accepts the gift of episcopacy, his personal duty is clear. Whatever the wonderings and wanderings of his former life, for which he must repent, as a bishop he must embrace the discipline of chastity as a gift."

During a discussion about sexuality at a residential bishop's council meeting of the Chichester diocese in 2005, Urwin, who is theologically conservative, spoke passionately against the homophobia he considered was still evident in the church.[citation needed] He made it clear that vacant parishes in his region in search of a new priest could not state a preference for a married priest and that he did not allow prurient questioning of candidates. The key question he said was to be found in the ordinal, 'Will you model your life, and that of your household according to the mind of Christ?' The response, 'I will do so the Lord being my helper' reflected both the candidates best intentions and his or her clear need for grace. He said that he encouraged single clergy not to live alone but to form a household and develop Godly friendships. He also said that he knew the risks and the raised eyebrows this sometimes raised from his own experience as an unmarried priest and bishop. He went on to say that in the experience of many single priests and bishops, some of whom who are of homosexual orientation, the embracing of celibacy either as a spiritual gift or in obedience to what the church asks of them, still does not seem to be enough.'[citation needed]

Beliefs and opinions[edit]

Urwin consecrating a new churchyard Tapsel gate in Sussex in 2004.

Urwin has a particular interest in youth ministry and has encouraged people to remember Jesus as an adolescent, "breaking voice, hormones and all".[8] He was co-presenter of the "Youthful Spirit" youth ministry presentation to the 1998 international Lambeth Conference of bishops with David Moxon.

Urwin has argued for tolerance of conservative voices including those who oppose the ordination of women.[9]

In 2007 Urwin was reported as criticising the practice of praying while seated instead of kneeling during public services.[10]

Urwin was interviewed by Ali G on the 11 O'Clock Show.[11] He later said that he realised he was being set up before the end of the interview and used it to his advantage.[12]


  • Youthful Spirit (1999)
  • Credo: a course for the curious (1997)
  • Mission-shaped Youth: Rethinking Young People and Church by Lindsay Urwin, Tim Sudworth, Graham Cray, and Chris Russell (May 2007)


External links[edit]


  • Who's Who (2007 edition)
  • Crockford's Clerical Directory
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Hind
Bishop of Horsham
Succeeded by
Mark Sowerby