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The Rev’d Dr Emma Ineson named as new Bishop of Penrith

A respected college Principal with a passion for mission has been chosen as the next Suffragan Bishop of Penrith.

The Rev’d Dr Emma Ineson, current Principal of Trinity College, Bristol, was appointed by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev’d James Newcome after consultation with a diocesan group.

She will be based in Kendal and will have 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 said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Suffragan Bishop of Penrith. I have been so impressed by what I have seen of the creative and innovative approach to building community and reaching every person across the Diocese with the love of Christ, exemplified by the recent ‘Moving Mountains’ mission.

“Jesus prayed that his disciples would be ‘one’ and as the first ecumenical Diocese, Carlisle is truly living out what that means in practice. The ‘God for All’ strategy aims to see every person in Cumbria discovering more of God and becoming followers of Jesus in Christian communities.

“This would be my prayer also, and I so look forward to working with Bishop James, and joining in with the churches of this beautiful and varied region, to see this increasingly become a reality. I am very excited about moving to this stunning part of the world and to getting to know its people, communities, churches and places of work, education and leisure.”

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, 48, 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 Revd Mike Hill, before returning to Trinity as Principal in 2014. Trinity College encourages rigour in academic theology, alongside practical ministry engagement in local parishes.

Emma said: “It has been a joy to be part of a flourishing community of women and men pursuing study, growing in faith, engaging in mission and developing their leadership gifts. “

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 is now licensed as Associate Minister, whilst also in her position as Principal. They have two children, one doing A Levels and the other training to be a secondary science teacher in Birmingham.

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

Emma was introduced to diocesan staff this morning at Church House in Penrith as part of a day-long, county-wide tour she and Mat are completing with Bishop James.

The tour also takes in Carlisle Cathedral, meeting staff at the University of Cumbria’s Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside, a cruise on Windermere with the opportunity to meet tourism officials, time with staff and pupils at St George’s C of E Primary School in Barrow and meeting members of the farming community in Frizington.

Bishop James said: “I am delighted that Emma is to be the next Bishop of Penrith. We are all looking forward to working with her, and welcoming her and Mat and the family to the Diocese and the County.

“We are particularly excited about the gifts and experience she brings – a passion for mission, experience of training and educating laity and clergy, an interest in rural life, ecumenical vision, a pastoral heart – as we work at our County and Diocesan Vision and Strategy of God for All.”

The Rev’d Dr Emma Ineson succeeds the Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman who retired in April. She will be consecrated on Wednesday 27 February, 2019. She will begin engaging with the Diocese over the Autumn but will start work properly after her consecration.


Notes to editors
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.

Information about the County and Diocesan Vision and Strategy can be found on: or


For more information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at or the Ven Richard Pratt, Archdeacon of West Cumberland, on 07788 728508 or 01900 66190 or at

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