Christopher Foster (bishop)

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The Right Reverend
Christopher Foster
Bishop of Portsmouth
Official portrait of The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth crop 2.jpg
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Portsmouth
In office 2010–present
Predecessor Kenneth Stevenson
Other posts Bishop of Hertford (2001–2010)
Ordination 1981
Consecration 21 October 2001
by George Carey
Personal details
Born (1953-11-07) 7 November 1953 (age 64)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Bishopsgrove, Fareham
Spouse 1.
Julia Marie née Jones
(m. 1982; d. 2001)

Sally Elizabeth née Davenport (m. 2006)
Children two (with Julia)[2]
Alma mater Durham University

Christopher Richard James Foster (born 7 November 1953) is an Anglican bishop. He is the current Bishop of Portsmouth in the Church of England.

Early life[edit]

Foster born on 7 November 1953. He was educated at Durham University[3] where he held the position of Chapel Clerk at University College. He studied for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge.


Foster was made a deacon on St Peter's Day (29 June) 1980[4] and ordained a priest the following Petertide (28 June 1981) — both times by Kenneth Skelton, Bishop of Lichfield, at Lichfield Cathedral[5] and began his ordained ministry with a curacy in Tettenhall Regis in Wolverhampton, after which he became chaplain of Wadham College, Oxford. Following this he was vicar of Christ Church Southgate[6] and finally a canon residentiary and sub-dean at St Albans Cathedral.

On 21 October 2001, he was consecrated a bishop by George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Southwark Cathedral,[7] to serve the Diocese of St Albans as suffragan Bishop of Hertford.[2] In February 2010, it was announced that Foster would be the new Bishop of Portsmouth.[1][8] He was enthroned on 18 September 2010.


Welfare reform[edit]

Foster has spoken out against the Conservative government's changes to the welfare state and austerity measures. In October 2015, he called proposed cuts to tax credits "morally indefensible":

It’s clear to me and many others that these proposals blatantly threaten damage to the lives of millions of our fellow citizens. This must not be the way to achieve the Government's goal at a cost to those, who if we believe the rhetoric, the Government intends to encourage and support. To many in my diocese and beyond this seems punishing rather than encouragement.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Foster's first wife died in 2001; they have two adult children.[2] He married his second wife, Sally, in 2006.[1][10]



  1. ^ a b c Official notification of appointment as Bishop of Portsmouth[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Official notification of appointment as Bishop of Hertford
  3. ^ Foster, Christopher Richard James. Who's Who. 2017 (November 2016 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 10 June 2017.  closed access publication – behind paywall
  4. ^ "Ordinations (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6126). 11 July 1980. p. 2. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 8 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Ordinations (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6179). 17 July 1981. p. 16. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 8 June 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ Church website
  7. ^ "News (in brief): Say what you really think, two new bishops told (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#7236). 26 October 2001. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 11 October 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "New bishop for south-east Hampshire". Hampshire Chronicle. Winchester, Hampshire. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  9. ^ The Independent (London) 27/10/2015 Tax credits: House of Lords votes to delay cuts by three years
  10. ^ Debrett's People of Today London, 2008 Debrett's, ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Robin Smith
Bishop of Hertford
Succeeded by
Paul Bayes
Preceded by
Kenneth Stevenson
Bishop of Portsmouth