Stephen Cottrell

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The Right Reverend
Stephen Cottrell
Bishop of Chelmsford
Bishop Stephen Cottrell.jpg
Cottrell at a confirmation service, SS Peter and Andrew's Church, Old Windsor, Sept 2007
Diocese Diocese of Chelmsford
In office 2010–present
Predecessor John Gladwin
Other posts area Bishop of Reading
Ordination 1984[1]
Consecration 4 May 2004 [2]
Personal details
Birth name Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell
Born (1958-08-31) 31 August 1958 (age 57)
Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom[1]
Nationality British
Denomination Church of England
Residence Bishopscourt, Margaretting, near Ingatestone, Essex[3]
Spouse Rebecca
Children three
Alma mater Polytechnic of Central London

Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell SCP (born 31 August 1958) is a Church of England bishop. Since October 2010, he has been the Bishop of Chelmsford. From 2004 to 2010, he was the Bishop of Reading, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Oxford.

Early life[edit]

Cottrell was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. He was educated at Belfairs High School.[4] He studied at the Polytechnic of Central London, graduating Bachelor of Arts (BA).[5] He trained for ordination at St Stephen's House, Oxford.[6]

Religious life[edit]

He was ordained in 1985.[6] His ordained ministry began as a curate at Christ Church, Forest Hill,[7] after which he was priest in charge of St Wilfrid's, Chichester then Diocesan Missioner for the Diocese of Wakefield and finally (before his ordination to the episcopate[8]) Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral.

Cottrell was nominated area Bishop of Reading on 6 January 2004,[5] after Jeffrey John controversially withdrew his nomination to the post in 2003.[9] He had been a supporter of John's original appointment. He said of his nomination: "I am looking forward to becoming the next Bishop of Reading with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I believe my work in mission and evangelism has prepared me well for the challenges facing the church in this new century. I hope and pray that my love for and understanding of the different traditions of the Church of England will enable me to be a focus for unity in the Reading Episcopal area." He was consecrated on 4 May 2004,[2] following confirmation of the appointment by Letters Patent.[8]

Following his nomination as Bishop of Chelmsford on 22 March 2010,[1] he was translated to the See of Chelmsford on 6 October 2010.[10] He was installed at Chelmsford Cathedral on 27 November 2010.[10]

He is a member of the Society of Catholic Priests (SCP),[11] and a member of Affirming Catholicism. In December 2014, he was selected as president of the movement, taking up the appointment at the start of 2015.[12]

He has written several books on the subject of evangelism among his 38 published titles.[13]

In 2007 Cottrell publicly opposed the renewal of Britain's Trident missile systems.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Cottrell is married to Rebecca. Together, they have three children.[1]


  • Stephen Cottrell (1958–1985)
  • The Reverend Stephen Cottrell (1985–2001)
  • The Reverend Canon Stephen Cottrell (2001–2004)[5]
  • The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell (2004–present)


  • Hit the Ground Kneeling: Seeing Leadership Differently (Church House Publishing, November 2008); ISBN 0-7151-4162-7
  • The Things He Carried (SPCK Publishing, November 2008); ISBN 0-281-06080-0
  • Do Nothing... Christmas is Coming: An Advent Calendar with a Difference (Church House Publishing, August 2008); ISBN 0-7151-4164-3
  • Do Nothing to Change Your Life: Discovering What Happens When You Stop (Church House Publishing, May 2007); ISBN 0-7151-4118-X
  • Abundance of the Heart: Catholic Evangelism for All Christians (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, May 2006); ISBN 0-232-52636-2
  • I Thirst: The Cross - The Great Triumph of Love (Zondervan Publishing House, January 2004); ISBN 0-310-25069-2
  • Praying through Life: How to Pray in the Home, at Work and in the Family (Church House Publishing; 2nd Revised edition, November 2003); ISBN 0-7151-4010-8
  • On This Rock: Bible Foundations for Christian Living (The Bible Reading Fellowship, January 2003); ISBN 1-84101-238-6
  • Travelling Well: A Companion Guide to the Christian Faith (Church House Publishing, June 2000); ISBN 0-7151-4935-0
  • Catholic Evangelism (Affirming Catholicism) (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd, March 1998); ISBN 0-232-52271-5
  • Sacrament, Wholeness and Evangelism: A Catholic Approach (Grove Books Ltd, February 1996); ISBN 1-85174-309-X


  1. ^ a b c d "Next Bishop of Chelmsford comes home 'hungry for us to be a Church that connects with every person and every community'", Diocese of Chelmsford website, 22 March 2010. Retrieved on 22 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b St Mary's Purley Parish News
  3. ^ Provincial Directory: Chelmsford. Retrieved on 12 December 2008.
  4. ^ Who's Who, 2008: London, A & C Black, ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ a b c Suffragan See of Reading, Prime Minister's office, 6 January 2004. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  6. ^ a b Crockford's Clerical Directory, 2008/2009, Lambeth, Church House Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  7. ^ Forest Hill Christ Church with St Paul (within the parish of Perry Hill, St George with Christ Church & St Paul), Anglican Diocese of Southwark. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  8. ^ a b The London Gazette: no. 57279. p. 5521. 4 May 2004. Retrieved 2007-11-14.
  9. ^ New Bishop of Reading revealed, BBC Berkshire, 6 January 2004. Retrieved 30 September 2008
  10. ^ a b "Bishop of Chelmsford: Together we will be a transforming presence and make Christ known". Diocese of Chelmsford. Archived 9 February 2011. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  11. ^ The Rt Revd Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell, Anglican Communion News Service, 1 August 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  12. ^ "NEW PRESIDENT OF AFF CATH ANNOUNCED". Latest News. Affirming Catholicism. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Stephen Cottrell
  14. ^ Trident discussion | the Door
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Dominic Walker
Bishop of Reading
Succeeded by
Andrew Proud
Preceded by
John Gladwin
Bishop of Chelmsford