Paul Bayes

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Paul Bayes
Bishop of Liverpool
ChurchChurch of England
In office2014–present
PredecessorJames Jones
Other postsBishop of Hertford (2010–2014)
Ordination1979 (deacon); 1980 (priest)
by Ronnie Bowlby
Consecration21 September 2010
Personal details
Born (1953-11-02) 2 November 1953 (age 66)
Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
ResidenceBishop's Lodge, Woolton[1]
Kate (m. 1976)
Alma materUniversity of Birmingham
Queen's College, Birmingham

Paul Bayes (born 1953) is an English Anglican bishop. He is the current Bishop of Liverpool[3] and a former Bishop of Hertford in the Church of England Diocese of St Albans.[4]

Early life[edit]

Bayes was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 2 November 1953.[5] He studied drama at the University of Birmingham[4] before studying for ordination at Queen's College, Edgbaston.[6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Bayes was ordained in the Church of England, made a deacon at Petertide 1979 (1 July)[7] and as a priest the Petertide following (29 June 1980), both times by Ronnie Bowlby, Bishop of Newcastle, at Newcastle Cathedral.[1][8] He was an assistant curate at St Paul's Church, Whitley Bay for three years (1979–1982). He then became a university chaplain in west London from 1982 to 1987.[4]

Bayes moved to High Wycombe for seven years where he initially as Team Vicar (1987–1990) and then Team Rector (1990–1994) before becoming Team Rector of Totton for nine years (1995–2004). While he was at Totton, Bayes was also the Area Dean of Lyndhurst from 2000. Upon leaving Totton, he joined the Archbishops' Council staff team as National Mission and Evangelism Adviser until his ordination to the episcopacy. He was also an honorary canon at Worcester Cathedral from 2007 until his consecration.[4]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

On 7 July 2010[4] it was announced that Bayes would succeed Christopher Foster as Bishop of Hertford upon Foster's translation to Portsmouth.[6] Bayes was duly consecrated a Church of England bishop on 21 September 2010 at St Paul's Cathedral[9] and installed at St Albans Cathedral on 25 September 2010.[10]

On 7 May 2014 it was announced that Bayes was to become the next (8th) Bishop of Liverpool; his canonical election was confirmed on 23 July 2014.[3] Bayes was installed at Liverpool Cathedral on 15 November 2014.


Bayes often addresses the evangelical wing of the Church of England,[11] despite dissenting from mainstream evangelical theological convictions.[12]

In June 2016 Bayes "called for far-reaching change in the church's attitudes to lesbian and gay people and a meaningful welcome to Christians in same-sex relationships".[11] He supports the dropping the requirement for gay Christians to be celibate, saying "I've learned to respect the experiences of people who want to celebrate and express their sexuality, and be within the church".[11] He contributed a chapter to the book Journeys in Grace and Truth: Revisiting Scripture and Sexuality (2016), which aims to show how it is "possible to hold a positive view of same-sex relationships while being a biblically rooted evangelical".[13][14]

In a recent tweet[15], Bayes suggests that holding to the traditional teaching of the Church of England on marriage and sexual ethics is a form of hatred. This is despite, as a Bishop of the same church, making a declaration in his ordination and consecration as a Bishop to "teach the doctrine of Christ as the Church of England has received it" and to "refute error"[16].

Personal life[edit]

Bayes has been married since 1976[5] and they have three adult children.[6]



  1. ^ a b "Paul Bayes". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. ^ "About Bishop Paul". Diocese of Liverpool. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The Next Bishop of Liverpool Is to Be the Right Revd Paul Bayes". Diocese of Liverpool. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Suffragan See of Hertford" (Press release). London: Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Bayes, Paul". Who's Who. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.251561.
  6. ^ a b c "New Bishop of Hertford Says Priests and Parishioners Do the 'Top Job' in the Church" (Press release). Diocese of St Albans. Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Petertide Ordinations". Church Times (6073). 6 July 1979. p. 17. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Petertide Ordinations". Church Times (6125). 4 July 1980. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  9. ^ "New Hertford Bishop is Revd Canon Paul Bayes". BBC News. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  10. ^ "New Bishop of Hertford Is Announced". The Herts Advertiser. St Albans, England: Archant Community Media. 11 July 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Sherwood, Harriet (16 June 2016). "Senior Bishop Calls for Change in C of E Attitudes to Gay People". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Gospel, Church & Marriage - Preserving Apostolic Faith and Life" (PDF). Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  13. ^ Bayes, Paul (2016). "Open Table, Open Mind". In Ozanne, Jayne (ed.). Journeys in Grace and Truth: Revisiting Scripture and Sexuality. London: Ekklesia. ISBN 978-0-9932942-4-2.
  14. ^ "Journeys in Grace and Truth". Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  15. ^ "Paul Bayes on Twitter: "Canadian voices. #OneBigChurch"". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
  16. ^ "The Ordination and Consecration of a Bishop". Retrieved 12 February 2020.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Christopher Foster
Bishop of Hertford
Succeeded by
Michael Beasley
Preceded by
James Jones
Bishop of Liverpool