From the next Bishop of Dudley

Martin Gorick, currently Archdeacon and Residentiary Canon in the Diocese of Oxford has been announced as the next Bishop of Dudley, returning to the Black Country where he was once Vicar of Smethwick. Here he talks about his hopes and plans for his new role.

“I’m delighted to be coming to this great diocese and to join with God’s people as together we seek to live lives of love, compassion, justice and freedom. We’ve got challenging times ahead, both as a diocese and in our communities, but the Church has a real role to play in bringing people together and I’m looking forward to working with Bishop John and others to understand our priorities going forward and how we can best achieve this.

“As Bishop of Dudley I want to inhabit the diocesan Kingdom People values. I hope to be a leader in mission whilst encouraging every member of our congregations across Worcestershire and Dudley to live out our common faith in Jesus – not just in church, but at home, and work, at school and everywhere in between. I’ve always enjoyed the Church of England’s connections with people and places outside the church, and in Oxford I oversee and supports the work of over 100 chaplains in prisons, schools, colleges, military bases and hospitals.

“I have spent over 24 years in parish ministry and treasure the calling of the Church of England to be there for everyone. Parish clergy have the cure of souls for all in their parish – not just those who choose to come to church. I’ve been a vicar of an inner urban parish as well as of churches in market towns and rural villages. I do understand the challenges and the joys of parish ministry and, as a bishop, I hope to be an effective servant of the servants of God in all our parishes.

“Over the last six years I have held strategic responsibility for growing new congregations of all shapes and sizes across the three counties that make up the Diocese of Oxford, overseeing an ambitious £5million SDF bid to enable church revitalisation and planting, fresh expressions of church and pioneering ministry in major new housing areas. I look forward to bringing some of that experience to bear in the Diocese of Worcester too. During my first year, my personal priorities will be to listen, learn, love and when appropriate, to lead.I look forward to visiting every deanery, to listen to churches and communities, to learn how I can best make a difference, to share in the love of God and of neighbour and to discover what kind of leadership you most need from a Bishop of Dudley at this time. I look forward to meeting Rural Deans and Lay Chairs, clergy and laity and seeing something of the life and witness of the Church in the Diocese.

“In the Borough of Dudley, I’m looking forward to working not only with clergy and people of the churches, but also getting to know the other faith and community leaders to see how we can best work together for the common good. I have had longstanding experience of interfaith work – as a student I formed a study group for Hindu-Christian dialogue and travelled in India. I have studied at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and at a practical level engaged extensively with the Muslim and Sikh communities while I was Vicar of Smethwick and also when serving in Coventry Diocese and currently in Oxford where I am the Diocesan Interfaith Adviser. I was pleased to see the Mayor of the West Midlands recently recognising the value of the faith communities across Birmingham and the Black Country and it will be crucial that we all work together in the years ahead for the good of every citizen.”

Martin will be consecrated as a Bishop on 28 January and will start work in the Diocese at the end of February. He is married to Katharine, who is County Lead for Visual Impairment in Oxfordshire and they have three grown up children. In his spare time Martin enjoys walking, gardening, travelling, birdwatching and wildlife generally – he is also a fan of all sport, especially football and supports Liverpool and Notts County.