Wallace Benn

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Wallace Benn
Bishop of Lewes
ChurchChurch of England
In office1997–2012
PredecessorIan Cundy
SuccessorRichard Jackson
Consecration1 May 1997
Personal details
Born (1947-08-06) 6 August 1947 (age 73)
Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
(m. 1978)
Alma mater

Wallace Parke Benn (born 6 August 1947) is a bishop of the Church of England. He was the area Bishop of Lewes in the Diocese of Chichester from 1997 until his retirement in October 2012.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Benn was born in Bray, County Wicklow on 6 August 1947.[2][3] He was educated at St. Andrew's College, Dublin, then an all-boys school in Dublin.[2] He studied at University College, Dublin, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1969.[4][5] In 1969, he entered Trinity College, Bristol, an Evangelical Anglican theological college, to train for ordained ministry.[5] During this time he also studied for a diploma in theology (DipTheol) which was validated by the University of London.[2][6]


Ordained ministry[edit]

Benn was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1972 and as a priest in 1973.[7] His ordained ministry began with curacies at St Mark's New Ferry, Wirral and St Mary's Cheadle, after which he was Vicar of St James the Great, Audley, Staffordshire and finally (before his consecration to the episcopate) St Peter's Harold Wood.

On 1 May 1997, Benn was consecrated a bishop[8] at Southwark Cathedral, by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury.[9] He then served as the Bishop of Lewes, an area and suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Chichester.[2] He retired from full-time ministry on 31 October 2012.[10] Since 2013, he has held Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of Peterborough.[5]


Benn has written two books and numerous pamphlets, including The Last Word: Jesus' Teaching in The Upper Room [11] and Jesus Our Joy: Learning about True Spirituality.[12]


Benn has been described as a complementarian evangelical.[13] He is a council member of Reform, a conservative evangelical grouping in the Church of England opposed to women priests and to the consecration of women as bishops.[14] In 2008, he attended the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) held in Jerusalem.[15]

Personal life[edit]

In 1978, Benn married Lindsay Develing.[2] Together they have two children: one son and one daughter.[2]

In 2002, Benn appeared on the popular BBC television motoring series Top Gear, placing third in the first "Fastest Faith" competition.[16]


  • Wallace Benn Esq (to 1973)
  • The Revd Wallace Benn (1973–1997)
  • The Rt Revd Wallace Benn (1997—present)


  1. ^ Anglican Communion
  2. ^ a b c d e f "BENN, Rt Rev. Wallace Parke". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Controversial Church of England bishop to address Dublin conference". Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  4. ^ Who's Who2008: London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ a b c "Wallace Parke Benn". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  6. ^ Diocese of Chichester — Other Staff
  7. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  8. ^ Essex Man Moves South in New Directions, March 1997 (Online; accessed 7 May 2014)
  9. ^ [1] & [2]
  10. ^ Thinking Anglicans
  11. ^ http://www.christianfocus.com/item/show/513/
  12. ^ http://www.parable.com/i.Jesus-Our-Joy-Learning-about-True-Spirituality-Benn-Wallace.9781857924435
  13. ^ Gatiss, Lee (5 May 2015). "Topical Tuesday: Bishop Rod Thomas". Church Society. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Reform council members". Reform. Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  15. ^ Thomas, Rod (31 August 2012). "Where are the Reform Bishops?". Church of England Newspaper. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  16. ^ Top Gear, Series 1, Episode 7 (first broadcast 1 December 2002).
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Ian Cundy
Bishop of Lewes
Succeeded by
Richard Jackson