Michael Bourke

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The Rt Revd
Michael Bourke
Bishop of Wolverhampton
Diocese Diocese of Lichfield
In office 1993–2007
Predecessor Christopher Mayfield
Successor Clive Gregory
Other posts Archdeacon of Bedford (1986–1993)
Ordination c. 1967 (deacon); c. 1968 (priest)
Consecration 1993
Personal details
Born (1941-11-28) 28 November 1941 (age 74)
Denomination Anglican
Parents Gordon & Hilda
Spouse Elizabeth Bieler (m. 1968)
Children 1 son; 1 daughter
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Michael Gay Bourke (born 28 November 1941) was the second area and third overall Bishop of Wolverhampton from 1993 until 2007.[1]

Education and career[edit]

Bourke studied Modern Languages at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge[2] and then Theology at Cambridge and Tübingen before training for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College. He was ordained in 1967, and began his ordained ministry as a curate at St James’ Grimsby[3] after which he spent 22 years in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in the Diocese of St Albans [4] rising to be Archdeacon of Bedford (1986–1993), until his ordination to the episcopate. From 1996 to 2006 he was Anglican Co-Chairman of the Meissen Commission, the body which oversees the relationship between the Church of England and the Protestant Church of Germany (EKD) Template:Since 2006, Bourke has lived in Hereford diocese, and is an honorary Assistant Bishop in that diocese (as retired bishops usually are).

Personal life[edit]

Bourke is a keen amateur astronomer, and counts star-gazing as amongst his chief spare-time pursuits. He has been an outspoken advocate of gay rights in both church and society, and has actively opposed institutional homophobia in all organisations, including the Church.[5]


In 2008 Michael Bourke received the Cross of St Augustine, the second highest international award for outstanding service to the Anglican Church. This was awarded primarily for his services to ecumenism, although the citation also mentioned his work opposing racism and homophobia.


  1. ^ Resignation details
  2. ^ ‘BOURKE, Rt Rev. Michael Gay’, Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edition, Oxford University Press, December 2011 [1], accessed 2 July 2012
  3. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 9780715110300
  4. ^ BCC website
  5. ^ See this citation by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Christopher Mayfield
Archdeacon of Bedford
Succeeded by
Malcolm Lesiter
Bishop of Wolverhampton
Succeeded by
Clive Gregory