Peter Selby

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The Right Reverend
Peter Selby
PhD MA(Oxon) BD[1]
Bishop of Worcester
Diocese Diocese of Worcester
In office 1997–2007
Predecessor Philip Goodrich
Successor John Inge
Other posts Bishop to HM Prisons
Honorary assistant bishop in Durham and Newcastle
Bishop of Kingston
1984–1992 (area bishop 1991–1992)
Ordination 1966
Consecration 1984
Personal details
Born (1941-12-07) 7 December 1941 (age 73)
Denomination Anglican
Profession Theologian and liturgist
Alma mater St John's College, Oxford

Peter Stephen Maurice Selby (born 7 December 1941) was the Church of England Bishop of Worcester. He retired at the end of September 2007. He achieved notoriety in the national press for effectively dismissing one of his clergymen and threatening to have him arrested after the latter asked him to uphold the 1998 Lambeth agreement.


He was educated at St John's College, Oxford, and at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, taking the Oxford degree of MA(Oxon) (1967, BA 1964) and the Cambridge, Mass., degree of BD (1966). He was awarded a PhD degree from King's College London in 1975.

Ecclesiastical career[edit]

He was Assistant Curate, Queensbury, 1966–68; Associate Director of Training, Southwark, 1969–73; Assistant Curate, Limpsfield with Titsey, 1969–77; Vice-Principal, Southwark Ordination Course, 1970–72; Assistant Missioner, Diocese of Southwark, 1973–77; Canon Residentiary, Newcastle Cathedral, 1977–84; Diocesan Missioner, Diocese of Newcastle, 1977–84; Bishop of Kingston 1984–1992 (an area bishop from 1991); William Leech Professorial Fellow in Applied Christian Theology, University of Durham, 1992–1997; Honorary assistant bishop in the dioceses of Durham and of Newcastle, 1992–97;[1] Visitor General, Community of Sisters of the Church, 1991–2001, a Member of the Doctrine Commission, 1991–2003, and President of the Modern Churchpeople's Union, 1990–96 and of the Society for Study of Theology, 2003–04; Bishop to HM Prisons, 2001–2007 and from January 2008 became the President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards for prisons. He was appointed Bishop of Worcester in 1997.

The Charles Raven affair[edit]

Selby had disagreed with the 1998 Lambeth agreement that bishops would not ordain homosexuals as clergy. In 2002 he was asked to affirm this by one of his own clergymen, Charles Raven, the vicar of St. John's Church, Kidderminster. He refused to do so, and was therefore asked not to come to the church to confirm people, since there would be no agreement as to what the faith being confirmed was. As Raven's licence was not renewable he had to leave his post, an founded a breakaway congregation, taking with him about half the members of the church he had served. The story made the national press several times.[2]


Selby and the Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee were appointed Episcopal Patrons of the international No Anglican Covenant Coalition in July 2011.[3] In a joint letter to the Church Times, Saxbee and Selby warned that "this is a time to hold fast to Anglicanism’s inherited culture of inclusion and respectful debate which is our way of dealing with difference rather than require assent to procedures and words that have already shown themselves to be divisive."[4]

Since retirement Selby served for five years as President of the National Council for Independent Monitoring Boards, the Boards monitoring fairness and respect for those in custody. He retired from that post in 2013, and has since been an interim co-director of St Paul's Institute, the Cathedral's agency that dialogues with the financial sector in the City of London.


  • Peter Selby Esq (1941–1966)
  • The Revd Peter Selby (1966–1975)
  • The Revd Dr Peter Selby (1975–1977)
  • The Revd Canon Dr Peter Selby (1977–1984)
  • The Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby (1984–1992; 1997–present)
  • The Rt Revd Prof Peter Selby (1992–1997)


  1. ^ a b Crockford's Clerical Directory 1995/96 (Ninety-fourth edition ed.). London, England: Church House Publishing. 1995. p. 623. ISBN 0-7151-8087-8. 
  2. ^ Daily Telegraph, 27 Jan 2002.
  3. ^ "Episcopal Patrons for No Anglican Covenant Coalition". Thinking Anglicans. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  4. ^ John Saxbee; Peter Selby (6 January 2012). "Letters Page: Synodical debate on the Anglican Covenant". Church Times, Issue 7764 (London, England: Hymns Ancient and Modern). ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 


  • 'Grace and Mortgage: Language of Faith and the Debt of the World', Peter Selby, Publ. Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd (1997) ISBN 0-232-52170-0
  • 'Rescue: Jesus and Salvation Today', Peter Selby, Publ. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1996) ISBN 0-687-06605-0

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Keith Sutton
Bishop of Kingston
Succeeded by
Martin Wharton
Preceded by
Philip Goodrich
Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
John Inge
Preceded by
Robert Hardy
Bishop to HM Prisons
Succeeded by
James Jones