Nigel McCulloch

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Nigel McCulloch

Bishop of Manchester
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Manchester
In office2003 – 2013 (retired)
PredecessorChristopher Mayfield
Other postsBishop of Wakefield
Bishop of Taunton
by Robert Runcie
Personal details
Born (1942-01-17) 17 January 1942 (age 77)
Crosby, Liverpool, United Kingdom
SpouseCelia McCulloch
ChildrenTwo daughters
Alma materSelwyn College, Cambridge, Cuddesdon College

Nigel Simeon McCulloch, KCVO (born 17 January 1942) is an Anglican bishop. He is a retired Bishop of Manchester in the Church of England, he was appointed in August 2002,[1] taking up duties later that year and was installed in February 2003.[2] He retired on his 71st birthday (17 January 2013).

Early life[edit]

McCulloch was born and brought up in Crosby, Liverpool, he was educated at Liverpool College and studied theology at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon College, Oxford, he was ordained in Chester Cathedral in 1966 and served as a curate in the large urban parish of Ellesmere Port from 1966 to 1971.[3] He was chaplain to Christ's College, Cambridge from 1970 to 1973 and was also the Director of Studies in Theology there until 1975, he also served as Diocesan Missioner in the Diocese of Norwich from 1973 to 1978. He was appointed Archdeacon of Sarum and rector of the city-centre church of St Thomas’s in the Diocese of Salisbury in 1978.


In 1986, McCulloch was appointed as the suffragan Bishop of Taunton in the Diocese of Bath and Wells, he was ordained and consecrated a bishop (thereby taking up his suffragan See) on 29 January 1986, by Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Gloucester Cathedral.[4] In 1992 he was translated to be the diocesan Bishop of Wakefield, he was appointed Lord High Almoner to Elizabeth II in 1997 and took his seat in the House of Lords in 1997. He is also Chairman of the West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council and Chairman of the Police Standards Committee for West Yorkshire.

McCulloch was the national Chairman of the Council for Christians and Jews (CCJ) from 2008 to 2015[5], he is also the Chairman of the Legislative Group charged with bringing proposals to the Church of England’s General Synod regarding women becoming bishops while also enabling those opposed to this to retain an honoured place within the church.

McCulloch was elected as Chair of the GM Faith & Community Leaders Group and also the elected representative of the Faith Communities on the Greater Manchester Forum, he has been active in the Scout Movement, latterly as a County Chairman in Somerset and County President in Yorkshire. He has recently been a member of the Select Committee reviewing the BBC Charter. Author of several books, a former columnist for The Times and a frequent broadcaster, he is the Church of England’s senior spokesman on communication issues. Since 2002 he has been the National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion.

His wife Celia is descended from 11 successive generations of Irish clergy, their wedding in 1974 was featured on the John Betjeman documentary A Passion for Churches.[6] On 28 June 2008 she became the first member of the Church of England to be ordained a priest by her own husband,[7] they have two grown-up daughters, Kathleen and Lizzie, and one grandson, Sebastian.

Sony game row[edit]

In June 2007, McCulloch considered taking legal action against Sony because of their PlayStation game Resistance: Fall of Man; the game features detailed views of Manchester Cathedral infested with aliens and others to be killed by the player. The Church said Sony did not obtain permission to use the interior. Sony said "Resistance: Fall of Man is a fantasy science fiction game and is not based on reality. We believe we have sought and received all permissions necessary for the creation of the game." McCulloch also expressed concerns that a game that involved shooting people was set in Manchester Cathedral, given the city's history of gun crime.[8]

Delayed retirement[edit]

It was announced on 21 December 2010 that McCulloch had been granted special permission to remain in his role beyond his 70th birthday by the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu; the usual age of retirement for bishops is 70, but McCulloch remained until 71st birthday in mid-January 2013.[9]

Since 2002 McCulloch has been National Chaplain to The Royal British Legion.[10]


On 20 February 2013 the Queen invested McCulloch with the insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO); as an ordained clergyman, he does not use the title Sir.


  • Nigel McCulloch Esq (1942–1966)
  • The Revd Nigel McCulloch (1966–1986)
  • The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch (1986–2013)
  • The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch KCVO (2013–present)


  1. ^ A new bishop for Manchester[permanent dead link], Diocese of Manchester, August 2002
  2. ^ City's 11th bishop sworn in, BBC News Online, 1 February 2003
  3. ^ Personal recollection - I was babtised by McCulloch at St Thomas' Church Ellesmere Port June 1971
  4. ^ "New bishops consecrated". Church Times (#6416). 31 January 1986. p. 20. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 7 April 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Edward Mirzoeff, Viewing notes for A Passion for Churches (BBC TV, 1974) - DD Home Entertainment 2007, 12
  7. ^ "Special honour" for Bishop as he ordains own wife, The Times, Issue no 69,363, 30 June 2008
  8. ^ BBC News
  9. ^ Diocese of Manchester — Bishop to continue to 71 Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-09. Retrieved 2014-11-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Religious titles
Preceded by
Peter Nott
Bishop of Taunton
Succeeded by
Richard Lewis
Preceded by
David Hope
Bishop of Wakefield
Succeeded by
Stephen Platten
Preceded by
Christopher Mayfield
Bishop of Manchester
Succeeded by
David Walker