Peter Forster

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For the British actor, see Peter Forster (actor). For the geneticist, see Peter Forster (geneticist).
The Rt Revd
Peter Forster
PhD MA(Oxon) BD[1]
Bishop of Chester
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Chester
Installed 11 January 1997
Predecessor Michael Baughen
Ordination 1980
Consecration 13 November 1996
Personal details
Born (1950-03-16) 16 March 1950 (age 65)
Solihull, West Midlands
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's House, Chester
Parents Thomas Forster and Edna Russell
Spouse Elisabeth Anne Stevenson (m. 1978)
Children Two sons, two daughters
Alma mater Merton College, Oxford, Edinburgh University

Peter Robert Forster (born 16 March 1950) is a British Anglican bishop and a Lord Spiritual (member of the House of Lords.) He is currently the Bishop of Chester in the Church of England.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Solihull, the son of Thomas Forster by his marriage to Edna Russell, Forster was educated at the town's Tudor Grange Grammar School and Merton College, Oxford, where he graduated BA in chemistry, promoted to Master of Arts in 1973. At Edinburgh University, he graduated as a Bachelor of Divinity in theology in 1977 and as a Doctor of Philosophy in 1985.

Ordained ministry[edit]

From 1980 to 1982, Forster was assistant curate of the Mossley Hill Parish Church in Liverpool. He was senior tutor at St John's College, Durham, from 1983 to 1991 and became the vicar of Beverley Minster in 1992. In 1996, he was appointed the 40th Bishop of Chester and in 2001 took his seat as a Lord Spiritual in the House of Lords.[2]

In 2003, Forster raised controversy when he was investigated by the police for an alleged "hate speech" after suggesting that homosexual people should seek psychiatric treatment.[3] However, no charges were made, and the police were satisfied that no offence had been committed.[4]

He was one nine bishops who signed a letter disagreeing with the decision of Rowan Williams not to block the appointment of Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading in 2013.[5]

In 2009 Forster became a trustee of the newly formed Global Warming Policy Foundation, an organisation based in the United Kingdom which questions policy measures envisaged by governments to mitigate global warming.[6]

In 2012, amid controversy over the amount of expenses claimed by bishops for attending the House of Lords, it was revealed that Forster had claimed more than any other bishop in 2010/11. He had claimed £34,909 and had attended on 97 days.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Forster married Elisabeth Anne Stevenson in 1978, and they have two sons and two daughters. His brother-in-law, Kenneth Stevenson, was also a bishop.[8]


  • Peter Forster Esq (1950–1980)
  • The Revd Peter Forster (1980–1985)
  • The Revd Dr Peter Forster (1985–1996)
  • The Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster (1996–present)


  1. ^ Church of England – Bishop of Chester
  2. ^ House of Lords (2001-11-14). "Announcement of his introduction at the House of Lords". minutes of proceedings. Retrieved 2006-11-20. 
  3. ^ Daley, Janet. The Daily Telegraph (London) Retrieved 2010-05-22.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "No charges for bishop in gay row". BBC News. 2003-11-09. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  5. ^ Frost's Meditations – Nazir-Ali
  6. ^ "Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ .Who's Who (ibid)
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Michael Baughen
Bishop of Chester