Rt Rev Jonathan Frost named as new Bishop of Portsmouth and says he has city 'on his heart'
THE new Bishop of Portsmouth has been announced by Downing Street.
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost to be the tenth Bishop of Portsmouth, succeeding the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, who retired in May after 10 years in the role.
Bishop Jonathan will lead the Church of England’s Diocese of Portsmouth, which covers 133 parishes across south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. His current role involves him leading the historic York Minster, where he has served since February 2019.
He was unveiled as the new Bishop of Portsmouth this morning at Charter Academy, the diocese’s only Church of England secondary school on the mainland. He joined pupils in a science laboratory, as part of his desire to start his new role by engaging with young people living in the diocese.
Bishop Jonathan said: ‘I believe the role of a bishop is to pray, to share the story and the love of Jesus, and to speak up for the marginalised and voiceless.
‘I've got Portsmouth on my heart. Many people across this diocese have had a tough time through the pandemic, especially the most vulnerable, and I know Christians here played their part with others to support those in need.
‘I'm looking forward to working in partnership, as together we tackle the biggest issues facing us today – such as the poor mental health and wellbeing of so many of our young people; climate change; and the scandal of poverty, which restricts opportunities and life chances.
‘I am, of course, sad to be leaving York Minster and valued colleagues there. It's a real privilege to be called to the work God is doing in south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.’
Later today Bishop Jonathan he is due to meet worshippers at three different parts of the diocese: at Portsmouth Cathedral, at Newport Minster, and at St Peter’s Church, Petersfield.
He is also due to visit Carole Damper MBE, at the Roberts Centre in Portsmouth, which supports children, families and vulnerable people in Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant.
And he has asked for a private meeting with staff from HMP Isle of Wight on the day he is announced as the new bishop, as part of his commitment to understanding issues relating to justice and imprisonment.
Because various legal formalities have to take place before Bishop Jonathan can take up his new role, his installation service in Portsmouth Cathedral is not expected until the New Year. Between now and then, he intends to visit the Diocese of Portsmouth regularly as he begins to get to know the area and its people.