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New Bishop of Hereford appointed
A PRIMARY school made history hosting the announcement of the 105th Bishop of Hereford.
The Royal seal on the appointment of Richard Frith was live-streamed across the Diocese of Hereford from Bishop Hooper School, Ashford Carbonel, on the Herefordshire Shropshire border this morning.
There, Bishop Richard, currently Bishop of Hull, spoke of a diocese with a "wonderful Christian heritage" that he was "greatly looking forward" to serving.
The school setting, he said, reinforced family as a focus for his "spare time" life. He has four children, four step-children and is grandfather of seven.
Cricket scores highly with Bishop Richard too, but he stresses that, at 65, he's tipped the bails on his playing time now.
That leaves film and theatre, so when the house lights go up on future Flicks in the Sticks screenings or shows at The Courtyard he'll feel right at home.
Though announcement at Bishop Hooper is listed as Bishop Richard's first engagement in the Diocese, he is not expected to be installed as Bishop of Hereford until the end of the year.
At the 80 pupil school, opened two years ago as an amalgamation of two tiny primaries, Bishop Richard sat in on an assembly led by a local vicar accompanied by his wife, Kay and the Bishop of Ludlow, Alistair Magowan and the Dean of Hereford Cathedral, Michael Tavinor.
Then, he went "live" across the Diocese as a web stream.
The appointment marks 40 years in ministry for Bishop Richard in which he has experienced at first hand the challenges the church faces in urban and rural environments alike.
He served his curacy at Mortlake with East Sheen in Southwark diocese from 1974 to 1978, from 1978 to 1983 he was a Team Vicar at Thamesmead and from 1983 to 1992 Team Rector at Keynsham, Bath and Wells diocese.
Between 1991-1998 he was Prebendary at Wells Cathedral, for six of those years being Archdeacon of Taunton. Since 1998 he has been Suffragan Bishop of Hull.
He comes to a Hereford diocese that, despite a growing reputation for innovation, has many dwindling - and aging - rural congregations struggling to survive.