Viv Faull

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The Right Reverend
Viv Faull
Bishop of Bristol
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Bristol
In office 2018 – present
Predecessor Mike Hill
Other posts
Ordination 1987 (deacon)
1994 (priest)
Consecration 3 July 2018[1]
by Justin Welby
Personal details
Born (1955-05-20) 20 May 1955 (age 63)
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Alma mater St Hilda's College, Oxford

Vivienne Frances Faull (called Viv;[1] born 20 May 1955) is a British Anglican bishop. Since 2018, she has served as the Bishop of Bristol, she was previously a cathedral dean, and the only female cathedral provost in Church of England history, having served as Provost of Leicester from 2000 to 2002.

Early life[edit]

Faull was born on 20 May 1955,[2] she was educated at The Queen's School, Chester, an all-girls independent school.[2] She studied at St Hilda's College, Oxford and graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree; it was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) in 1982.[3] When she began studying theology at St John's College, Nottingham, she became the first woman to be paid by the Church of England to do so.[4]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Faull was licensed as a deaconess in the Church of England in 1982, and ordained as a deacon in 1987 and as a priest in 1994.[3] She served first at the Church of St Matthew and St James, Mossley Hill, Liverpool, and then as Chaplain at Clare College, Cambridge. From 1990 to 1994, she was on the staff at Gloucester Cathedral;[5] in 1994 she became Canon Pastor at Coventry Cathedral, later becoming Vice Provost, before moving to Leicester in 2000.[6]

On 13 May 2000,[7] she was installed as Provost of Leicester Cathedral[8] – the first (and, due to the Cathedrals Measure 1999 redesignating all cathedral provosts as deans, only) female cathedral provost in Church of England history. In 2002, when her job title (but not the essential nature of the role) changed, she became the Dean of Leicester – and thus, with that change of title, the first female dean in the Church of England.

It was announced on 5 July 2012 that Faull was to become Dean of York in late 2012,[9] she was duly installed at York Minster on 1 December.[10]

Episcopal ministry[edit]

She was thought by many to be a leading candidate for the first woman appointed a bishop in the Church of England.[11] Canon law was altered in 2014 to allow this,[12] although the first woman to be appointed a bishop was Libby Lane.[13]

On 15 May 2018, it was announced that Faull would be the Bishop of Bristol, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Bristol, in sucession to Mike Hill.[14] She was elected, and confirmed on 25 June 2018;[15] before being consecrated a bishop on 3 July 2018 during a service at St Paul's Cathedral, London.[1] She will then be installed as the 57th Bishop of Bristol at Bristol Cathedral later in the year.[1]


Faull's views have been described as "centrist to liberal" and as "open evangelical".[16][17] She supports the blessing of same-sex partnerships.[16]


In 2013 Faull was the target of hate mail during an unsuccessful campaign to have the remains of Richard III interred in York Minster.[18] Protests against Faull's involvement in the decision to inter the remains in Leicester Cathedral continued, ultimately resulting in the prosecution of one protester,[19] and an online petition calling for the removal of the dean.[20][21]

In October 2016 Faull was instrumental in the sacking of all the York Minster bellringers with no notice,[22][23][24] and the subsequent suspension of a carillonneur. The locks were changed at the Minster and the ringers unable to lower the bells for safety, this was called 'uncharitable' and 'unChristian' in the press.[25][26]


In 2014, Faull was awarded an honorary Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) degree by the University of Gloucestershire "for her outstanding contribution to the church and her work for the equality of women".[27] On 20 March 2015, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (DLitt) degree by the University of Chester "in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Ministry in this country, in particular in recognition of her roles as Dean of Leicester and Dean of York",[28][29] on 17 July 2015, she was awarded an honorary degree by the University of York.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d "Very Revd Vivienne Faull announced as the next Bishop of Bristol". Diocese of Bristol. 15 May 2018. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  2. ^ a b Who's Who 2012 – FAULL, Vivienne Frances
  3. ^ a b "Vivienne Frances Faull"Paid subscription required. Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "'I'm not sure I see myself in a mitre'", The Telegraph, 28 August 2001. Accessed 20 May 2014
  5. ^ Debrett's People of Today London,2008 Debrett's, ISBN 978-1-870520-95-9
  6. ^ Diocese of York website 18 October 2016
  7. ^ Leicester City Council – Cllr Phil Swift
  8. ^ bnet UK
  9. ^ BBC News – Faull appointed Dean of York
  10. ^ York Minster – Installation of the new Dean of York
  11. ^ "Vivienne Faull: a pioneer tipped to be the first female bishop", The Guardian, 16 Feb 2014. Accessed 6 November 2014
  12. ^ Pigott, Robert (14 July 2014). "Saying yes to women bishops". BBC News. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  13. ^ "First female bishop consecrated". BBC News. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  14. ^ "Queen appoints new Bishop of Bristol". GOV.UK. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 15 May 2018. 
  15. ^ York Minster — Acting Dean of York (Accessed 29 June 2018)
  16. ^ a b Brown, Andrew (16 February 2014). "Vivienne Faull: a pioneer tipped to be the first female bishop". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  17. ^ Kings, Graham (September 2003). "Canal, River and Rapids: Contemporary Evangelicalism in the Church of England". Anvil. 20 (3): 167–184. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Dean of York goes to the police over Richard III hate mail". The Telegraph. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  19. ^ "Richard III fan prosecuted for York Minster rant". The Telegraph. 16 June 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  20. ^ "You think of me as the Enemy in your midst". Hathaways of Haworth. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  21. ^ "Petition calling for dean to step down described as malicious". The Northern Echo. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  22. ^ "Ding dong at the belfry as York Minster axes all its 30 bellringers". The Telegraph. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  23. ^ "For whom the bell tolls: York Minster to fall silent as ringers sacked". The Guardian. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  24. ^ "I was a bellringer at York Minster. We want to know why we were sacked". The Guardian. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  25. ^ "MINSTER BELLS: Outspoken critic of bell ringing axing suspended from playing Carillon bells UPDATED 12.40pm". York Press. Retrieved 2016-10-14. 
  26. ^ "York Minster to fall silent for first time since 1361 after bell ringers axed". The Mirror. 13 October 2016. 
  27. ^ "Welcome Doctors Yarnold and Faull". Gloucester Review. Tindle Newspaper Group. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  28. ^ "University celebrates 175 years of success with latest graduands". Invest in Cheshire. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  29. ^ "Honorary Graduates 2015". University of Chester. 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  30. ^ "University of York honours 11 for their contribution to society". University of York. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Derek Hole
Provost of Leicester
Succeeded by
as Dean
Preceded by
as Provost
Dean of Leicester
Succeeded by
David Monteith
Preceded by
Keith Jones
Dean of York
2012 – 2018
Preceded by
Mike Hill
Bishop of Bristol