On Friday 15 July, Revd Canon Arun Arora was consecrated as the new Bishop of Kirkstall alongside Revd Canon Rob Saner-Haigh who was consecrated as the next Bishop of Penrith.
Hundreds of people attended the service which took place at York Minster and was presided over by the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell.
Arun has been vicar of St Nic’s, in Durham city centre, since 2017 after previously being Director of Communications for the Church of England and the Archbishop of York. He was ordained as a Deacon in 2007, serving his curacy at St Mark’s Church in Harrogate before moving to Wolverhampton where he led a Fresh Expression of Church for young adults in the city centre.
Speaking on his move, Arun said: “I will be ever thankful to God for the past five years I have spent serving alongside the community of St Nic’s. To have had a front row seat to witness the Holy Spirit working in and through the people of God has been a deep privilege and I am going to miss the people of Nics enormously.
“I am excited for what God will continue to do in this very special place and will be holding its people in my heart.”
The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler, said: “I am delighted for the Diocese of Leeds that Arun Arora is to be the next Bishop of Kirkstall. It is also good news for the wider Church of England. Arun has previously done outstanding work in national communications.
“These past few years he has led St Nic’s Durham with a clear passion for mission. He has encouraged creativity, children and young people and care for God’s creation. We will miss him in Durham but assure him and his family of our prayerful support for this exciting new call.”
As Vicar of St Nic’s, Arun has frequently spoken about his passion for faith, with a strong online presence. He writes regularly for The Northern Echo, often exploring news stories with learnings from the Bible.
Welcoming Arun to his new role, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds said: “This is an exciting appointment for the Leeds Area and for the Diocese of Leeds as a whole. Arun has a proven range of gifts and will bring great energy and commitment to the tasks ahead. We all look forward to working with him and he is guaranteed a very warm welcome.”
The Most Reverend Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said: “It is a delight to welcome the appointment of Arun as Suffragan Bishop of Kirkstall. His enthusiasm, zeal and passion for communicating the gospel is well known in Durham and across the Northern Province. Arun’s commitment to inclusion and justice was seen in the recent co-chairing of The Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce encouraging change and leading to the establishment of the Racial Justice Commission. As a bishop he will continue to challenge the church in effectively living out its promises.”
Arun succeeds the Right Reverend Paul Slater - the first official Bishop of Kirkstall – who left his role in January 2022 to retire.