Mark Sowerby

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The Right Reverend
Mark Sowerby
Bishop of Horsham
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Chichester
In office 2009–present
Predecessor Lindsay Urwin
Ordination 1988
Consecration 25 July 2009[1]
Personal details
Born (1963-10-28) 28 October 1963 (age 53)
Ripon, West Riding of Yorkshire, United Kingdom[2]
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's House, Horsham
Spouse Ruth[3]
Children 3 daughters[3]
Alma mater King's College London

Mark Crispin Rake Sowerby (born 28 October 1963) is an Anglican bishop. Since 2009, he has been the Bishop of Horsham, a suffragan bishop (formerly an area bishop) in the Diocese of Chichester.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Sowerby was born on 28 October 1963 in Ripon, West Riding of Yorkshire.[2] He studied theology at King's College, London, and graduated in 1985, with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree and the Associateship of King's College (AKC). He then entered the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, an Anglo-Catholic theological college, to train for the priesthood. He left the college in 1987 to be ordained.[6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Sowerby was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1987 and as a priest in 1988.[6] His first posts were curacies at Knaresborough and Darwen[7] after which he was Vicar of Accrington then Vocations Officer and Selection Secretary in The Ministry Division. His last post before his appointment to the episcopate was as Team Rector of St. Wilfrid's Church, Harrogate.[8][9][10] One of his final acts as rector was to welcome a proposal from NEDL to erect a primary electricity station in the curtilage of the church. This proposal, generated a criticism from, amongst others, the Victorian Society, Private Eye magazine and residents of Harrogate.[11]

During a protracted investigation — while there was a vacancy in the diocesan see — into the efficacy of safeguarding practices in the diocese, Sowerby was additionally Acting Bishop of Chichester. (The senior suffragan of the diocese, Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, was involved with the ongoing investigation.)


Sowerby previously held views consistent with traditionalist Anglo-Catholicism, such as the rejection of the ordination of women as deacons, priests, or bishops. In June 2015, he announced that he had changed his theological outlook and now supports the ordination of women as deacons, priests, and bishops. Therefore, he resigned from the Council of Bishops of The Society, a traditionalist Anglo-Catholic association in the Church of England.[12][13]

Personal life[edit]

Sowerby is married with three children.[3]



  1. ^ Peter Owen — Vacant Suffragan Sees
  2. ^ a b Debrett's People of Today — Mark Sowerby Horsham
  3. ^ a b c Official announcement
  4. ^ The Diocese of Chichester – Acting Bishop of Chichester
  5. ^ Daily Telegraph, “Appointments in the clergy”, p24, Issue no 47,929 (9 July 2009)
  6. ^ a b "Mark Crispin Rake Sowerby". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 1 May 2016.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  8. ^ Diocese of Chichester website
  9. ^ Church Times
  10. ^ Church website
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Bishop of Horsham – Resignation as a member of the Society's Council of Bishops". Diocese of Chichester. 10 June 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Robinson, Tony (10 June 2015). "The Bishop of Horsham". The Society. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Lindsay Urwin
Bishop of Horsham