Michael Perham (bishop)

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The Rt Revd
Michael Perham
Bishop of Gloucester
Diocese Diocese of Gloucester
Installed 29 May 2004[2]
Term ended 21 November 2014
Predecessor David Bentley
Successor Rachel Treweek
Other posts Dean of Derby (17 March 2000–2004)
Ordination 1976[1]
Consecration 2004
Personal details
Born (1947-11-08) 8 November 1947 (age 67)[3]
Dorchester, Dorset
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishopscourt, Gloucester
Spouse Alison[4]
Children Four daughters[4]
Profession Author
Alma mater Keble College, Oxford

Michael Francis Perham (born 8 November 1947[3]) is a retired Church of England bishop. He was the Bishop of Gloucester from 2004 to 2014.


Perham was born and raised in Dorset.[5] He attended Hardye's School, Dorchester before going to Keble College, Oxford in 1971 to study theology.[6][7] He also studied theology at Cuddesdon College (now Ripon College Cuddesdon) where he now serves as the chair of the board of governors.[6]

Perham is married to Alison Grove, a palliative care consultant. They have four adult daughters. He lists one of his hobbies as writing liturgical texts.[5]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Perham was a curate of St Mary's Addington (Diocese of Canterbury) from 1976 to 1981, before becoming chaplain to the Bishop of Winchester, John Taylor, from 1981 to 1984. He was also Secretary to the Church of England Doctrine Commission from 1979 to 1984.

Perham became the team rector of the Oakdale Team Ministry in Poole in 1984, a position he relinquished in 1992 to become the precentor and a residential canon at Norwich Cathedral. He was instituted as Provost of Derby on 21 March 1998[5] (retitled as the Dean of Derby on 17 March 2000 with the general deprecation of provosts by the Church of England).

Perham was a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission from 1986 to 2001 and had a significant role in the production of the Common Worship service book.

Perham was announced by 10 Downing Street as the next Bishop of Gloucester on 20 January 2004.[8]

Alongside these ministries, he has filled many roles in the Church of England nationally. He was for a time secretary of its doctrine commission. He served on the Archbishops’ Commission on Church Music that produced a key report, "In Tune with Heaven", in 1992. He has been a member of the General Synod since 1989 and was a member of the Archbishops’ Council and Chair of the General Synod Business Committee until he became a bishop. He also served as Chair of the Hospital Chaplaincies’ Council. He was Chair of the Society for the Promoting of Christian Knowledge (SPCK) from 2007 to 2011. He was a member of the Crown Nominations Commission which chose the new Archbishop of Canterbury in 2012.

Perham is known for his work on church worship. He served on the Church of England Liturgical Commission from 1982 to 2001, being one of the principal architects of its Common Worship services. He has lectured and written about worship consistently throughout his ministry.

Perham was a member of the House of Lords and of the House of Bishops’ Standing Committee. He served on the working party reviewing the Church of England’s teaching on human sexuality. He has been a strong advocate of the role of women in the church as priests and bishops. He was Bishop Protector of the European Province of the Society of St Francis between 2005 and 2014, Chair of the Governing Body of Ripon College, Cuddesdon, President of the Alcuin Club and of the Retired Clergy Association. He was President of Affirming Catholicism from 2001 to 2014.

Within the Diocese of Gloucester, Perham was the president or patron of a number of local organisations, including GARAS, GEAR, Cheltenham YMCA, the Star College and Emmaus Gloucester. He hosted the quarterly “Bishop’s Breakfast”, which brought together many of the civic and community leaders in the county. He is Pro-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire and Vice Chair of the University Council.

On 1 February 2014, Perham announced to the diocesan synod that he would step down as Bishop of Gloucester on 21 November that year. On 2 August 2014 the Diocese of Gloucester announced that, for personal reasons, Perham had "stepped back" from his ministry as the Bishop of Gloucester.[9]

On 5 August 2014, it was announced that Perham had been interviewed by the Metropolitan Police in relation to two allegations of historic sex abuse whilst he was a priest in Croydon in the 1980s. It was stressed that Perham had not been arrested but was interviewed under caution.[10] It was further announced on 14 October 2014 that the Metropolitan Police would be taking no further action.[11] On 11 May 2015, after the Church of England undertook a risk assessment and safeguarding investigation, he was approved to continue ministry in retirement.[12]

On 13 June 2015, a service of thanksgiving and celebration of Perham's time as diocesan bishop was held at Gloucester Cathedral.[13] A farewell service had been planned for November 2014, but it was cancelled because of the allegations he had faced.[14]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Lively Sacrifice (1992)
  • Enriching the Christian Year (1993)
  • Celebrate the Christian Story (1997)
  • The Sorrowful Way (1998)
  • A New Handbook of Pastoral Liturgy (2000)
  • Signs of Your Kingdom (2002)
  • Glory in Our Midst (2005)
  • To Tell Afresh (2010)
  • The Hospitality of God with Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves (2011)
  • Jesus and Peter (2012)


  • Michael Perham Esq (1947–1975)
  • The Revd Michael Perham (1975–1992)
  • The Revd Canon Michael Perham (1992–1998)
  • The Very Revd Michael Perham (1998–2004)
  • The Rt Revd Michael Perham (2004–present)


  1. ^ a b Church of England – Bishop of Gloucester
  2. ^ BBC News – Enthronement ceremony for bishop (Accessed 31 December2014)
  3. ^ a b Democracy Live – Michael Perham
  4. ^ a b Diocese of Gloucester – Bishop Michael
  5. ^ a b c Pat Ashworth (March 1998), "Canon Michael Perham", Derbyshire Life 63 3 p54
  6. ^ a b Church Times 7350 23 Jan 2004
  7. ^ The Brick, 44, p8, Michaelmas 2008, Issue 44 Retrieved 27 August 2009
  8. ^ See of Gloucester (2004), 10 Downing Street, London, viewed 26 April 2008, http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page5177.asp
  9. ^ Twitter – Gloucester Diocese press release (Accessed 2 August 2014)
  10. ^ "Bishop of Gloucester Michael Perham faces sex assault allegations". BBC News. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Bishop of Gloucester sex offences inquiry dropped". BBC News. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Statement on retired Bishop of Gloucester". Lambeth Palace. 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Crowds rise to their feet in Gloucester Cathedral to celebrate Bishop Michael Perham". The Gloucester Citizen. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Former Bishop of Gloucester "lost confidence" after sex claims". BBC News. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
David Bentley
Bishop of Gloucester
Succeeded by
Rachel Treweek