David Urquhart (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
David Urquhart
Bishop of Birmingham
Diocese Diocese of Birmingham
In office 2006–present
Predecessor John Sentamu
Other posts Bishop of Birkenhead (2000–2006)
Convenor of the Lords Spiritual (18 May 2015–present)[1]
Ordination 1984
Consecration 2000
Personal details
Born (1952-04-14) 14 April 1952 (age 67)
Scotland, UK
Nationality British (Scottish)
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishop's Croft, Harborne
Profession formerly commercial management
Alma mater Ealing Technical College Business School

David Andrew Urquhart (born 14 April 1952)[2] is the ninth Bishop of Birmingham.


Urquhart was educated at Rugby School and Ealing Technical College Business School (BA 1977). After a career in commercial management with British Petroleum, he studied for the ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Church career

He was ordained in 1984 and served in Hull before becoming the vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Coventry in 1992; for his last year in Coventry, he was an honorary canon of the cathedral.[3] He was appointed suffragan Bishop of Birkenhead in the Diocese of Chester in 2000. Urquhart acts as the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy to China and accompanied him on a visit to China in October 2006.[4] Urquhart was appointed Prelate of the Order of St Michael and St George in 2005[5][6] and holds the Freedom of the Borough of Wirral.[7] He is unmarried.

His appointment as Bishop of Birmingham was announced in 2006[8] and he was enthroned on 17 November 2006,[9] succeeding John Sentamu after Sentamu's appointment as Archbishop of York. Around 800 people attended his enthronement in Birmingham Cathedral.[10] Urquhart was introduced as a Lord Spiritual to the House of Lords on 26 October 2010.[11] He became the Convenor of the Lords Spiritual on 18 May 2015.[1]


At his enthronement Urquhart was presented with a cope which incorporated various images related to his life and the city of Birmingham. These included a bagpiper, signifying his birth and upbringing in Scotland, a motorcycle which represents one of his hobbies and the emblems of Aston Villa and Birmingham City FC, the two most prominent football teams from the city. The cope also features a passage from the Bible, which reads "You shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in." (Isaiah 58:12). The passage was written in English, Mandarin, Hebrew and Gandan. During the ceremony in Birmingham Cathedral, Urquhart smashed a large clay pot with a mallet to signify the fragility of human life and our world.[12]

In a message to his new diocese shortly after his enthronement, Urquhart thanked the people of Birmingham for the warm welcome he had received. He cited his desire for the diocese to engage in "worship, making disciples and prophetic witness".[13]


Urquhart has worked successfully with representatives of several political parties in who lead Birmingham City Council, in an effort to fight poverty and social exclusion.

Inequality and social exclusion is something that we should not easily accept in a rich country and a city like ours. Our aim is to bridge the gap between the disadvantaged and the powerful, so that more people can participate in the economic and social opportunities at work, home and play. [14]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Church of England — New Convenor of the Lords Spiritual announced (Accessed 18 May 2015)
  2. Peter Owen — Diocesan Bishops in the Church of England
  3. Birmingham, Bishop of, David Andrew Urquhart. Who's Who. 2015 (November 2014 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 7 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. ""Notes from China", Archbishop of Canterbury official site, October 2006".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. The London Gazette: no. 57654. p. 7053. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  6. ""New Bishop of Birmingham appointed", Office of the Prime Minister, 23 May 2006".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. ""Wirral honours civic leaders", Wirral Council press release, 6 November 2006".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. The London Gazette: no. 58024. p. 8460. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  9. Diocese of Birmingham — A cope of Many Languages for the Ninth Bishop of Birmingham
  10. ""Birmingham's new bishop is named", BBC News, 23 May 2006". 23 May 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. UK Parliament — Lords Calendar
  12. ""A cope of Many Languages for the Ninth Bishop of Birmingham", 17 November 2006, Diocese of Birmingham website".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. ""Bishop of Birmingham Inaugurated", Diocese of Birmingham, 17 November 2006".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Why David Urquhart is a man for our times

External links

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Michael Langrish
Bishop of Birkenhead
Succeeded by
Keith Sinclair
Preceded by
John Sentamu
Bishop of Birmingham