The Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) has elected new bishops to serve two of its seven dioceses. Following the installation of Anne Dyer as Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney earlier this year, the election of Canon Ian Paton as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, and Dean Andrew Swift as Bishop of Brechin, amounts to a change of just under 50 per cent in the Province’s Episcopal leadership this year.
The elections were carried out by the SEC’s Electoral Synod, made up of representatives of clergy and lay members from the dioceses concerned. “I am delighted that the Electoral Synods have elected Ian Paton and Andrew Swift as their new Bishop in each of their Dioceses and I thank the members of the Electoral Synod for the work that they have done in this process,” the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Mark Strange, said.
“I look forward to welcoming both Ian and Andrew to the College of Bishops and to working with them, and I am sure that the Diocese of Brechin and the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane will look forward to their respective leadership and inspiration in the future development of Mission and Ministry across each of the Dioceses.
“I ask that we hold them both in prayer as they each move to a new stage of their ministry and prepare for their consecration.”
Ian Paton, who will serve as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane, has been Rector of Old St Paul’s Church in Edinburgh since 1997. He is also honorary Anglican Chaplain to Edinburgh University, Canon of St Mary’s Cathedral, and associate tutor at the Scottish Episcopal Institute.
“I am very happy and deeply honoured to have been elected by the people of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane to serve them as their bishop,” he said. “I ask for your prayers for the whole diocese, and for me, as we set out together on this new journey for all of us.”
Andrew Swift, who will serve as Bishop of Brechin, has been Dean of Argyll and The Isles since 2012 and Rector of Dunoon and Rothesay in that diocese since 2010. He is also a Depute Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute – a ceremonial role as representative of Queen Elizabeth.
“It is a wonderful and humbling honour to be elected as the next Bishop of Brechin,” he said. “I would like to thank the Electoral Synod for their trust in me, and look forward very much to working with all the Scottish Episcopal churches of Brechin to help them build up their confidence, witness and mission in Dundee, Angus, the Mearns and Carse of Gowrie.
“I am also praying for my fellow candidates in the election – thanks and blessings for them all.”
The two new bishops-elect will be consecrated on dates that are yet to be confirmed. Andrew Swift will be consecrated in St Paul’s Cathedral in Dundee and Ian Paton will be consecrated in St Ninians’s Cathedral in Perth.