Wakefield Cathedral – The Bishops of Wakefield

When the Diocese of Wakefield was formed in 1888, All Saints Church received cathedral status becoming Wakefield Cathedral. This momentous change also saw the formation of the Bishop of Wakefield office.

There have been a total of 12 Bishops of Wakefield over the years, listed below with the years they were in office:

William Walsham How 1888-1897

Rodney Eden 1897-1928

James Seaton 1928-1938

Campbell Hone 1938-1945

Henry McGowan 1946-1949

Roger Wilson 1949-1958

John Ramsbotham 1958-1968

Eric Treacy 1968-1977

Colin James 1977-1985

David Hope 1985-1991

Nigel McCulloch 1992-2003

Stephen Platten 2003-2014

The office was permanently dissolved with the dissolution of the Diocese of Wakefield and formation of the Diocese of Leeds in 2014.

The first Bishop William Walsham How served for nine years until his death in 1897. After his death a petition was created for the building of a memorial for him at the cathedral. This memorial was consecrated in 1905 and can still be seen today.

The enthronement of a new bishop was (and remains) an important ecclesiastical event, and WYAS hold numerous Orders of Service documents relating to the individual enthronement’s of the Bishops of Wakefield.

WYAS hold another collection of records for the Bishops of Wakefield (collection reference: WDP233) which is also available at the Wakefield Archive.

Signed illuminated address of welcome to William Walsham How from the clergy and laity of the new diocese on the day on the enthronement 25th June 1888 (WDP3/12/1/4)
This beautifully illuminated address of welcome was created for Walsham How to mark the day of his enthronement as the first Bishop of Wakefield in the new Diocese of Wakefield.
Signed illuminated address recording the presentation of the pastoral staff to William Walsham How, first Bishop of Wakefield, and his successors, by the laity of the diocese 27th April 1889 (WDP3/12/1/5)
This illuminated address records the presentation of the pastoral staff to the first Bishop of Wakefield. The second page includes a stunningly detailed image of a crozier. A crozier was used by a Bishop to show their ecclesiastical office and is meant to resemble a shepherd’s crook.
Order of ceremonial at the consecration of Roger Wilson as Bishop of Wakefield in York Minster 25th April 1949 (WDP3/12/6/3) and Order of service for the enthronement of Roger Wilson as Bishop of Wakefield 30th May 1949 (WDP3/12/6/2)
Roger Wilson was the 6th Bishop of Wakefield. He was consecrated at York Minster on the 25th April 1949. He was then enthroned 5 days later at Wakefield Cathedral, with the service broadcasted. These Orders of Service provide details of Wilson’s consecration and enthronement, which would have been significant events in his ecclesiastical career.