Hugh Nelson named as next Bishop of St Germans

Hugh is currently the parish priest of St Mary’s, Goudhurst and Christ Church, Kilndown (known as GK Church), in Canterbury Diocese.

Downing Street has announced that the next Bishop of St Germans is to be the Revd Hugh Nelson. Hugh is currently the parish priest of St Mary’s, Goudhurst and Christ Church, Kilndown (known as GK Church), in Canterbury Diocese.

Prior to his ordination in 2009, Hugh was Director of L’Arche London, a Christian community in which people with and without learning disabilities live together and support one another.

As well as overseeing significant growth in his parish churches, Hugh has pioneered new initiatives in Kent, including a school of theology and a ground-breaking partnership between schools, local churches and a Christian charity to provide counselling to children and support to families. Hugh also chaired the team that developed Canterbury Diocese’s strategy, and works on the national Church of England initiatives, Setting God’s People Free and Growing Faith.

Hugh said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed as the new Bishop of St Germans. The Christian faith has deep roots in Cornwall, and it will be my joy and privilege as bishop to enable those strong roots to continue to bear fruit today and in the future.

“I look forward to working with all my brothers and sisters in Christ, lay and ordained, in church communities across the diocese, as we live out the hope and love that Jesus has for Cornwall and all its people.”

In response to the news of Hugh's appointment, the Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover, said: "We are delighted for Hugh, Lizzie and their family as they prepare for their next adventure in Truro Diocese. As Vicar of Goudhurst and Kilndown, Hugh has built on excellent foundations and enabled ministry to thrive, seeing many people coming to faith and growing in their spiritual journey. A number of projects have flourished under his leadership, including a trail-blazing local initiative to address children’s mental health issues.

"Hugh has served our diocese well in shaping our strategy, ensuring that parish perspectives have been heard and that underneath it all lies a passion to see lives transformed through encounter with Christ. There is, of course, some sadness as we say farewell to the Nelsons - and that will be felt most acutely in Goudhurst and Kilndown. But it is primarily with a sense of huge gratitude that we receive this news. Gratitude to God for the gift of the Nelsons to our diocese and gratitude to them for their faithfulness to to God's call on their lives. We pray for them that, as this new chapter unfolds, God would bless them all richly."

The Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen said: “I’m delighted to welcome Hugh here as bishop-designate of St Germans and we greatly look forward to Hugh, Lizzie and their family joining us later this year.

“Hugh has a significant track record of church growth in a rural context; of launching fresh initiatives in mission and ministry, as well as experience of developing strategy at a diocesan level. Additionally, he has been deeply shaped by several years working at L’Arche, an intentional Christian community centred around people with profound learning disabilities. He speaks of a deep and joyful sense of call to join us in Cornwall. I’m just delighted by his appointment and look forward so much to him joining us here in our adventure of Discovering God’s Kingdom; Growing the Church.”

Hugh and his family will move to live in the Diocese of Truro in April. He will be consecrated as a bishop in June, after which he will be formally welcomed to the diocese and will take up his seat in Truro Cathedral.