Diocese of Carlisle

Biography of Bishop Emma


The Rt Rev Dr Emma Ineson was consecrated the Suffragan Bishop of Penrith on Wednesday 27 February, 2019.

She is based in Kendal and has particular responsibility for the county’s God for All strategy; that everyone in Cumbria – of all ages and backgrounds – has the opportunity to know more about God and God’s purpose in their lives that they may become followers of Jesus in a Christian community.

Emma was born in Birmingham and brought up in Kenya, where her parents helped train Kenyan teachers, and in South Wales for her teenage years.

After degrees at Birmingham University in English language and Linguistics, her PhD research looked at power and authority in the language of worship, and the interface between language and faith.

Emma, 49, is married to Mat who she met at Birmingham University, where he was studying Chemical Engineering, before both trained for ordination together at Trinity College. They moved to Sheffield Diocese for their curacy before spending four years as chaplains of the Lee Abbey community in Devon.

In 2006 they moved to Bristol when Mat became incumbent of St Matthew and St Nathanael, Kingsdown. Emma became Associate Minister of the church, whilst also teaching part-time at Trinity College, becoming full-time over the next seven years. She was Tutor in Practical and Pastoral Theology and also taught gender studies, charismatic theology, preaching, spirituality and leadership.

In 2013 she took up a post as Chaplain to the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev Mike Hill, before returning to Trinity as Principal in 2014. Trinity College encourages rigour in academic theology, alongside practical ministry engagement in local parishes.

She has been a member of the General Synod of the Church of England since 2010, as well as the Faith and Order Commission, the Implementation and Dialogue Group on the Five Guiding Principles, the Lambeth Conference 2020 Design Group and the Church of England Evangelical Council. She is also an Honorary Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.

In 2014 Mat became Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Stoke Bishop, where Emma was licensed as Associate Minister, whilst also in her position as Principal. They have two adult children.

In her spare time Emma enjoys cooking and entertaining, reading, walking the couple’s two dogs, going to the theatre (especially Shakespeare) and gardening.

The title of Bishop of Penrith is an historic one, dating back initially to 1888, and then to 1944.It simply designates the Bishop who assists the Bishop of Carlisle - in technical terms the Suffragan Bishop.

The Bishop of Penrith lives in Kendal, and – with the Bishop of Carlisle – covers the whole Diocese of Carlisle which is pretty much the same as the County of Cumbria.