Downing Street has today announced that The Revd William Hazlewood, currently Vicar of the United Benefice of Dartmouth and Dittisham in the Diocese of Exeter is to be the new Bishop of Lewes.
The announcement was made via videolink in his new diocese this morning alongside the appointment of his new episcopal colleague, The Revd Ruth Bushyager from the Diocese of Guilford who is to serve as the new Bishop of Horsham, also in the Chichester diocese.
Welcoming Will’s appointment the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said this morning: “Will brings to the Diocese the experience of priestly ministry in a busy seaside parish, its rich potential and the prayer that sustains it. He attracted diocesan-wide recognition in Devon through outreach to families and his capacity to value and transcend differences in Church and society.
“His primary ministry will be to serve the people in the archdeaconries of Hastings and Brighton & Lewes but he will also have a wider ministry across the diocese, using his gifts and experience to enrich the life of the whole of this household of faith.
“We welcome him and his family and assure them of our prayers as they move to Sussex in challenging circumstances. We look forward to an opportunity to celebrate his arrival and ministry with us, once the restrictions are lifted.”
William has been a priest since 2002 where he served his curacy in a parish in the centre of Bristol before moving to Buckinghamshire to serve the parish of Iver Heath on the outskirts of Slough. In 2011 he moved to the diocese of Exeter to be Incumbent of Dartmouth and Dittisham, a market town and village in the South Hams. He became Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral in 2017.
His wife Sophie grew up in Sussex and is a Project Manager. They have two young children.
In his current role Will has sought to find new ways to imaginatively re-engage the church with the communities it seeks to serve. He plays a full part in the Diocese of Exeter, is a Guardian of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and co-founder of Family Fest Southwest (an annual faith-based family camping weekend).”
The Bishop of Exeter. The Right Revd Robert Atwell, said today: “Will Hazlewood is an outstanding priest and pastor, as the people of Dartmouth and Dittisham (in South Devon) will gladly testify. He has engaged with families and children in such imaginative ways through ‘Family Fest’, an annual family camping weekend, which he helped found. With Will, faith and fun go together. I am delighted at his appointment as Suffragan Bishop of Lewes, knowing that he will bring to his new role in Sussex an instinctive understanding of the joys and challenges of being a Christian today.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting started,” said Will today before adding: “My first task is to listen and get to know the clergy and people of the diocese so that I can discern how to support the local mission of the church in all aspects of its life. To help discover what God is already doing and how each of us might more effectively join in so that God’s unconditional love may be made known.”
A date for his consecration as bishop has yet to be announced.