Michael Turnbull

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
The Rt Revd
Michael Turnbull
Former Bishop of Durham
Diocese Diocese of Durham
In office 1994–2003
Predecessor David Jenkins
Successor Tom Wright
Other posts Honorary assistant bishop in Canterbury, Rochester & Europe (2003–present)
Bishop of Rochester
Ordination 1961, Manchester Cathedral
Consecration 29 September 1988,[1] Canterbury Cathedral
Personal details
Born 27 December 1935
Wombwell, South Yorkshire
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Brenda
Children 3 children
Alma mater Keble College, Oxford and St John's College, Durham

Anthony Michael Arnold Turnbull (born 27 December 1935) was the Bishop of Durham in the Church of England from 1994 until 2003.[2]

Turnbull was born in Wombwell, South Yorkshire. He was a student at Keble College, Oxford, graduating in 1958. He prepared for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall and St John's College, University of Durham. He was ordained deacon in 1960 and priest in 1961 in Manchester Cathedral. After ordination he initially served as curate of Middleton in the Diocese of Manchester before moving in 1961 to be curate of Luton with East Hyde in the Diocese of Saint Albans. In 1965, he moved to York to be domestic chaplain to the Archbishop of York (Donald Coggan) and director of ordinands for the Diocese of York. In 1969, he was appointed chaplain to the University of York, a position he held, for part of the time, in conjunction with being rector of nearby Heslington. In 1976, he was appointed chief secretary of the Church Army. In 1984, he was appointed Archdeacon of Rochester and was then to be consecrated as the Bishop of Rochester in 1988. From 1994 until his retirement in 2003, he was the Bishop of Durham, the fourth most senior bishop in the Church of England with a seat in the House of Lords.

Turnbull was appointed CBE in 2003 for services to the North East and to the Church of England. He holds honorary doctorates from Greenwich University (D.Litt) and Durham University (DD). He is a deputy lieutenant in the county of Kent.

Much of Turnbull's ministry in the Church of England focused on reorganisation of its administrative structures. He chaired the Turnbull Commission (Archbishops' Commission on the Organisation of the Church of England) which led to the creation of the Archbishops' Council in 1995. After the commission had finished its duties, he was appointed chairman of the Ministry Division of the Archbishops' Council. His other posts have included member of the Commission on English Cathedrals (1992-4), Vice Chairman of the Central Board of Finance (1990-19980, board member of the Church Commissioners (1989-1998), Archbishops' Council and chairman of the Ministry Division (1998-2000), chairman of the Foundation for Church Leadership (2003-2007), chairman of the North East Constitutional Convention (1999-2003) and Campaign for English Regions (2000-2003), chairman of the Bible Reading Fellowship (1985-1994) and of the College of Preachers (1990-1998) and the Council of Scargill House (1969-1976).

Despite speaking out against openly homosexual clergy in 1993, it was revealed in 1994 that Turnbull had been arrested and convicted of committing acts of gross indecency in a public lavatory in 1968. This led Peter Tatchell and others to protest against what they saw as his hypocrisy when he was enthroned as bishop.[3]

Turnbull is married to Brenda and the couple, who live in Kent, have three children and seven grandchildren. Following episcopal tradition, he signed his name +Michael Roffen while he was Bishop of Rochester and +Michael Dunelm while he was Bishop of Durham.

In retirement, Turnbull is an honorary assistant bishop in the dioceses of Canterbury, Rochester and Europe. His writing includes God's Front Line, Parish Evangelism, Learning to pray and The state of the Church and the Church of the State (2012).


  1. Europe Diocese – Prayer Diary, 2011–2012
  2. "Bishop of Durham to retire". news.bbc.co.uk. 26 August 2002. Retrieved 12 May 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Gays mar Bishop's Day". Independent.co.uk. 23 October 1994. Retrieved 15 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Church of England titles
Preceded by
David Say
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Michael Nazir-Ali
Preceded by
David Jenkins
Bishop of Durham
Succeeded by
Tom Wright