Christopher Chessun

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The Right Reverend
Christopher Chessun
Bishop of Southwark
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Southwark
In office 2011–present
Predecessor Tom Butler
Other posts Bishop for Urban Life and Faith (2009–present)
area Bishop of Woolwich (2005–2011)
Ordination 1983 (deacon)
1984 (priest)
by Conrad Meyer (deacon)
Richard Harries (priest)
Consecration 21 April 2005
Personal details
Born (1956-08-05) 5 August 1956 (age 61)
Hampton, Middlesex, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's House, Streatham
Alma mater University College, Oxford

Christopher Thomas James Chessun (born 5 August 1956) is the Bishop of Southwark in the Church of England.[1]

Early life and education

Chessun was educated at Hampton School and University College, Oxford.[2]

Ordained ministry

Made a deacon at Petertide 1983 (3 July) by Conrad Meyer, Bishop of Dorchester, at Dorchester Abbey[3] and ordained a priest the following Petertide (1 July 1984) by Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford,[4] he served curacies at St Michael and All Angels Sandhurst and St Mary's Portsea[5] and was then successively a chaplain at St Paul's Cathedral, London, rector of St Dunstan's, Stepney, Archdeacon of Northolt (2001–2005). He was appointed Bishop of Woolwich and consecrated a bishop on 21 April 2005.[6] He is a passionate advocate of overseas church links[7] and has an identical twin brother.

Having served as the area Bishop of Woolwich for over five years the bishopric of Southwark was confirmed before a congregation at St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside on 17 January 2011.[8] His Southwark Cathedral enthronement took place on 6 March 2011.[8]

In March 2011 he began public ministry as the 10th Bishop of Southwark. He is a strong advocate for the parish system as the most effective means of church presence and engagement in the life of local communities, including the need to proclaim the Gospel afresh amid the rapid changes in church and community life. As Bishop of Southwark, his residence is Bishop's House, Streatham.[9]

Chessun is also the lead Bishop for Urban Life and Faith for the Church of England. This offers him an opportunity to contribute to debates and discussions on the importance of the churches' contribution to urban and public policy within society. In 2012, a number of Evangelicals criticised him for the appointment of Liberal Catholics to his leadership team.[10]

In May 2011, the Church of England declared that three members of the diocese participating in the Anglican Mission in England, ordained in Kenya, were in an impaired state of communion with Chessun due to a conflict of views on homosexuality. These "irregular" clergy would have to seek other bishops to ordain their candidates. His views are similar to those of his predecessor, Tom Butler,[11] who appointed Chessun as Bishop of Woolwich.



  1. ^ "Tenth Bishop of Southwark is Announced". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Chessun, Christopher Thomas James. Who's Who. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 10 June 2017.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  3. ^ "Ordinations (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6282). 8 July 1983. p. 15. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ "Petertide ordinations (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6334). 6 July 1984. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, Debrett's, 2008 ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
  6. ^ "(picture caption) (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#7402). 21 January 2005. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 10 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ Diocese of Southwark — Bishops' biographical notes (Accessed 10 June 2017)
  8. ^ a b "Election confirmed of Tenth Bishop of Southwark". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2011. 
  9. ^ "Christopher Thomas James Chessun". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 2 October 2017.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Evangelicals in Uproar Over Southwark Liberal Appointments". Anglican Mainstream. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. 
  11. ^ "CoMission – Reaching London for Christ". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  12. ^ "New Bishop of Woolwich". Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 4 February 2005. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Colin Buchanan
Bishop of Woolwich
Succeeded by
Michael Ipgrave
Preceded by
Tom Butler
Bishop of Southwark
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