Steven Croft (bishop)

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For other people with the same name, see Steven Croft.
The Right Reverend
Steven Croft
Bishop of Oxford
SteveCroft Consecration.JPG
Croft after his consecration service
Diocese Diocese of Oxford
In office 6 July 2016 – present[1]
Predecessor John Pritchard
Other posts Warden, Cranmer Hall (1996–2004)
Archbishops' Missioner and Fresh Expressions Team Leader (2004–2008)
Bishop of Sheffield (2008–2016)
Ordination 1983
Consecration 25 January 2009
Personal details
Born (1957-05-29) 29 May 1957 (age 59)
Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, UK
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Ann
Children 4 children: Paul, Andy, Amy, Sarah
Alma mater Worcester College, Oxford

Steven John Lindsey Croft (born 29 May 1957[2]) is a Church of England bishop and theologian specialising in mission. He is the Bishop of Oxford since the confirmation of his election on 6 July 2016.[1] He was the Bishop of Sheffield from 2008 until 2016; previously he was Archbishops’ Missioner and Team Leader of Fresh Expressions, a joint Church of England and Methodist initiative. He falls within the open evangelical tradition of Anglicanism.


Croft attended Heath Grammar School in Halifax and studied classics and theology at Worcester College, Oxford, graduating in 1980. He trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall, Durham, earning a PhD in 1984 with his thesis The identity of the Individual in the Psalms.[3]


Croft was ordained as deacon in the Diocese of London in 1983. The following year, he was ordained as priest. From 1983 to 1987 he was the curate of the parish church of St Andrew's Enfield. After that, he became vicar of Ovenden, an Urban Priority Area parish in the Diocese of Wakefield, from 1987 to 1996. In 1997, Croft was made a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council, which he was a part of until 2000.

1996–2004: Warden (i.e. head) of Cranmer Hall

2004–2008: Archbishops' Missioner and first Team Leader of Fresh Expressions

Croft was appointed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York to help found Fresh Expressions, a joint Church of England and Methodist initiative "to help Christians of any denomination think about ways of starting and growing fresh expressions of church in their area" where a fresh expression is defined as "a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church".[4] In recognition of this work he was awarded the silver Cross of St Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury.[5]

Croft was nominated as the next Bishop of Sheffield, succeeding Jack Nicholls who retired in July 2008,[6] and formally elected by the Chapter of Sheffield Cathedral in November 2008[7] (and that election having been confirmed in the interim), he was consecrated as a bishop by John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, on 25 January 2009,[8] and started work in the diocese following his formal enthronement on 9 May 2009.[9] This was followed by three Welcome Eucharists celebrated in various locations around the diocese to allow more people to meet the new bishop.[9]

In 2012 Croft was nominated by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, to be the Anglican fraternal delegate to the Synod of Bishops in Rome.[10]

Croft became a member of the House of Lords on 15 July 2013.[11] On 12 April 2016, it was announced that he was to be translated to become Bishop of Oxford in "autumn" 2016;[12] he was duly elected to that See and that election was confirmed at Lambeth Palace on 6 July 2016, at which point Croft became the Bishop of Oxford.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Croft was born in Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, in 1957. He is married to Ann and has four children; Paul, Andy, Amy and Sarah.[6]



  • The Identity of the Individual in the Psalms, Sheffield Academic Press, 1987 ISBN 978-1-85075-021-5
  • Growing New Christians, CPAS/Marshall Pickering, 1993 ISBN 978-0-551-02701-5
  • Making New Disciples, Marshall Pickering, 1994 ISBN 978-0-551-02862-3
  • Emmaus: the Way of Faith (with Stephen Cottrell, John Finney, Felicity Lawson and Robert Warren), NS/CHP, six volumes, 1996; two volumes, 1998; second edition 200-2003.
  • Man to Man: Friendship and Faith, Scripture Union, 1999 ISBN 978-1-85999-308-8
  • Ministry in Three Dimensions: Ordination and Leadership in the Local Church, DLT, 1999, second edition, 2008 ISBN 978-0-232-52743-8
  • Travelling Well: A companion guide to the Christian faith (with Stephen Cottrell), NS/CHP, 2000. ISBN 978-0-7151-4935-5
  • The Lord is Risen: Luke 24, Emmaus Bible Resources 1, NS/CHP, 2002 ISBN 978-0-7151-4971-3
  • Missionary Journeys, Missionary Church: Acts 13-20, Emmaus Bible Resources 2, NS/CHP 2002 ISBN 978-0-7151-4972-0
  • Transforming Communities: Re-Imagining the Church for the 21st Century, DLT, 2002 ISBN 978-0-232-52456-7
  • A Theology of Christian Leadership in Focus on Leadership, Foundation for Church Leadership, 2005.
  • Learning for Ministry (with Roger Walton), CHP, 2005 ISBN 978-0-7151-4053-6
  • Evangelism in a Spiritual Age (with Rob Frost, Mark Ireland, Anne Richards, Yvonne Richmond and Nick Spencer), CHP, 2005 ISBN 978-0-7151-4054-3
  • Moving on in a Mission Shaped Church (booklet with George Lings), CHP, 2005 ISBN 978-0-7151-4078-9
  • Starting a Fresh Expression (booklet with George Lings and Claire Dalpra), CHP 2006 ISBN 978-0-7151-4096-3
  • Listening for Mission (booklet with Bob Hopkins and Freddy Hedley) CHP, 2006 ISBN 978-0-7151-4099-4
  • Bishops’ Mission Orders: a beginners’ guide (booklet with Paul Bayes) CHP, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7151-4169-4
  • Encouraging fresh expressions (booklet), Fresh Expressions, 2008 ISBN 978-0-9560005-1-4
  • The Future of the Parish System: shaping the Church of England for the 21st Century (editor and contributor), CHP, 2006 ISBN 978-0-7151-4034-5
  • The Advent Calendar (a novel for adults and children), DLT, 2006 ISBN 978-0-232-52680-6
  • Mission-shaped Questions: defining issues for today’s church, (editor and contributor), CHP, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7151-4153-3
  • Reflections for Daily Prayer: Advent to 2 before Lent(section on Ecclesiastes), CHP, 2008 ISBN 978-0-7151-4160-1
  • Jesus' People - What the church should do next, CHP, 2009 ISBN 978-0-7151-4187-8


  1. ^ a b c Diocese of Oxford — Legal ceremony brings Bishop Steven a step closer & Diocese of Oxford — Letter from Bishop Steven (Both accessed 8 July 2016)
  2. ^ Who's Who 2012 – Sheffield, Bishop of
  3. ^ Retrieved 25 October 2008
  4. ^ Retrieved 25 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Dr Croft awarded cross of St Augustine". Fresh Expressions. Archived from the original on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009. 
  6. ^ a b "New Bishop of Sheffield appointed". BBC Online. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008. 
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 58891. p. 18243. 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  8. ^ "Diocesan News Release". Retrieved 18 November 2008. [dead link]
  9. ^ a b "Welcoming the new Bishop of Sheffield". Dean and Chapter of Sheffield. Retrieved 20 April 2009. 
  10. ^ "Anniversary synod for Vatican II is to hear Dr Williams". Church Times. 5 October 2012. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bishop of Sheffield". UK Parliament. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Steven Croft is the new Bishop of Oxford". Diocese of Oxford. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Pritchard
Warden of Cranmer Hall
Succeeded by
Anne Dyer
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jack Nicholls
Bishop of Sheffield
Preceded by
John Pritchard
Bishop of Oxford