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Downing Street has announced today, 7 May, that the next Bishop of Huntingdon will be Canon Dr Dagmar Winter. She will be East Anglia's first female bishop.

The Queen has approved the nomination of Canon Dr Dagmar Winter, Rector of Hexham, in the Diocese of Newcastle, to the Suffragan See of Huntingdon in the Diocese of Ely. The announcement of the first female Bishop in East Anglia was made from Downing Street on Tuesday 7 May.

Dagmar will take the title Bishop of Huntingdon (a Suffragan Bishop), working alongside the Bishop of Ely, The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, across the whole Diocese which comprises Cambridgeshire, the western quarter of Norfolk, south Peterborough, and some adjacent parishes.

Dagmar said: "I am honoured and delighted to have been invited to become the seventh Bishop of Huntingdon. The Fens will be quite a different experience to the Northumberland Uplands for me and I can't wait to meet people from the varied communities across the breadth of the Diocese.

I have a particular passion for rural and market town ministry, and I am impressed with the Diocesan vision and will to grasp the great opportunities there are.

Cambridge and its universities make a distinct contribution which I deeply appreciate and I hope to build further on relationships here.

There is a remarkable connection between Hexham and Ely: Etheldreda gave the land for the building of Hexham Abbey and in Ely she founded a monastery on the site which is now Ely Cathedral. I believe this legacy of generosity and prayerful commitment is rooted in the life-affirming, encouraging and inspiring love of God which we see in Jesus Christ, and I look forward to working with Bishop Stephen and many others to share this."

The Bishop of Ely, the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, said: "I am so thankful to God that our process of discernment has given us Dagmar Winter to be the next bishop of Huntingdon. Her gifts and experience in ministry are a splendid match with our role description and our ambition to be fully alive. She is first and foremost a fine pastor.

I admire what she has contributed both locally and nationally to the Church's engagement with rural life. Her talents as a theologian and biblical scholar will bring real benefits to us and to the College of Bishops. I am praying for our visible and generous ministry together as bishops within the established team serving the Diocese."

The next Bishop of Huntingdon will be consecrated on Wednesday, 3 July at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Dagmar is of British and Swiss-German descent and studied theology at various universities including Aberdeen and Heidelberg, where she completed a PhD in New Testament studies.

She served her title from 1996 - 1999 in Bromley, Rochester Diocese, before becoming Associate Vicar and Deanery Training Officer at Hexham Abbey. From 2006 she was Rural Affairs Officer for the Diocese of Newcastle, as well as Priest-in-Charge of a group of rural parishes in Morpeth Deanery, Northumberland. 2015 saw her return to Hexham as Rector.

Dagmar has been a member of General Synod since 2005, has served on the Rural Group and the Mission and Public Affairs Committee of the Church of England, and is currently on the Meissen Committee. In her rural role she has chaired a community-led rural development funding programme for the Northumberland Uplands, and in Hexham she has been involved in setting up a Community Bank. Since 2012 she has been on the Bishop's Senior Staff as Bishop's Adviser for Women's Ministry.

As time allows, she has continued to make contributions to academic discourse and furthering the understanding of theological issues in today's context. Her interests include walking and running, especially with her lurcher, Tilda.

As Bishop of Huntingdon, she succeeds the Rt Revd David Thomson who retired from his post in October 2018.


Media Contact

Contact the Media team on gro/esecoidyle//aidem or 01353 652728


Hannah Cleugh, Senior Chaplain to the Bishop of Ely, on gro/esecoidyle//hguelc/hannah or 01353 662749.

The Diocese of Ely

  • The Diocese of Ely is one of 42 dioceses of the Church of England.
  • It comprises a group of over 344 parishes under the pastoral and administrative care of the diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Ely, whose seat of Authority is at Ely Cathedral.
  • The diocese covers the county of Cambridgeshire (except for three parishes in the south which are in the diocese of Chelmsford); together with the western quarter of Norfolk, a few parishes in Peterborough and in Essex and one in Bedfordshire.
  • The Church of England belongs to that part of the Christian tradition known as the Anglican Communion, representing those in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and deriving their forms of worship and the orders of their bishops, priests and deacons from the Reformation settlement in England.
  • The 41 Church of England dioceses are divided into two Provinces, the Province of Canterbury (with 30 dioceses of which Ely is one) and the Province of York (with 14 dioceses). The archbishops of Canterbury and York have pastoral oversight over the bishops within their province, along with certain other rights and responsibilities.
  • The structure of dioceses within the Church of England was defined following Reformation mand the See of Ely was created in 1109 out of part of the Diocese of Lincoln.
  • The diocese has had its boundaries altered at various times, particularly by the inclusion of Huntingdonshire and Bedfordshire. But in 1914, in response to the growing population, Bedfordshire became part of the Diocese of St Albans, and western Suffolk became part of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, while Ely took a western part Norfolk. Most of the city of Peterborough remains the seat of the Diocese of Peterborough.