The Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen will be leaving his post as the Bishop of Truro this autumn to become the new Bishop of Winchester. The announcement was made by Downing Street on Thursday following approval of his nomination by HM The King.

“I had expected that being Bishop of Truro would be my last post before retirement, but it seems God has other plans,” said Bishop Philip.

“After a lengthy and careful process, the people responsible, both locally and nationally, for the appointment in Winchester have concluded that there is a ‘Philip-shaped’ job to be done in their diocese. After much prayer, I have accepted their invitation to be their next Bishop.”

Philip became the 16th Bishop of Truro on January 12, 2019, having previously been the executive leader of the Church Mission Society.

During his time in Truro, he also chaired the Church of England’s Partnership for World Mission and was asked to investigate how well – or otherwise – the Foreign Office had responded to the issue of the global persecution of Christians. The recommendations of the final report were subsequently accepted in full by the UK government.

“Of course, there is never a perfect time to leave anywhere,” Bishop Philip continued. “We are still in a significant process of change in this diocese. But that change is happening on increasingly firm foundations … we have an outstandingly strong senior team.

“Please do pray for me and my wife, Ruth, as we certainly shall for you. May God bless you all richly as you walk ‘The Saints’ Way’ together.”

The Rt Revd Hugh Nelson, Bishop of St Germans, will be Acting Diocesan Bishop until a new Bishop of Truro is in post. The announcement of a new Dean of Truro is also imminent.

Bishop Hugh said: “Bishop Philip will be much missed. He has guided us through Covid and a time of change, and he leaves us with a clear sense of direction and purpose. Winchester diocese will be blessed to have him as their new bishop, and he goes with our gratitude and our prayers.”

Bishop Philip’s full speech can be heard here