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Primus of Scottish Episcopal Church announces his retirement

Posted on: February 9, 2017 2:46 PM
Primus of Scottish Episcopal Church
Photo Credit: SEC
Related Categories: Bp Chillingworth, Scotland

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church has announced he will retire at the end of July. Bishop David was consecrated as Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane in 2005 and was elected Primus four years later.

In his leadership roles in Scotland, Bishop David has consistently encouraged the church to become more missional.  He encouraged the establishment of the “Whole Church Mission and Ministry Policy” – which for the past six years has challenged the Scottish Episcopal Church to reshape its life in the cause of mission and growth.  Bishop David believes that mission is rooted in faith commitment and in a deep understanding of history and context.  He has also worked to sustain the unity of the church as it addressed human sexuality issues.

Bishop David has also been deeply involved in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion, serving as a member of the standing committee of the Anglican Consultative Council.  He has exercised leadership in Continuing Indaba, a movement which attempts to establish 'honest conversation across difference in the cause of mission' across the Anglican Communion.  He also serves as the Anglican Co-Chair of the International Dialogue between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches.  His work in the Anglican Communion was recognised by the award of an Honorary Degree from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee

Ordained in 1976, Bishop David spent the next 29 years in the ministry of the Church of Ireland within Northern Ireland. Much of that time was spent in places which were deeply affected by the Northern Ireland conflict.  Throughout that period, particularly as Rector of Seagoe Parish Church in Portadown, he attempted to develop ways in which churches could challenge the sectarianism which powerfully influenced communities and churches in Northern Ireland. During that time, he also served successively as Dean and Archdeacon of Dromore.

Throughout his ministry, Bishop David has given a high priority to communication.  He is a regular broadcaster and for over ten years has written a blog at

Announcing his retirement, Bishop David said: “it has been an immense privilege for me to exercise the interwoven ministries of bishop and Primus.  The Scottish Episcopal Church has with increasing confidence been developing its mission and taking its place in the evolving story of Scotland. As the process for the election of my successor begins - and as God's unfolding future for our church is revealed - I shall continue to hold this church and its leadership in my prayers.”