I was born in Liverpool in 1957, went to the Holt Comprehensive School and  then studied Modern Languages (German and French) at the University of Bradford. I worked as a freelance technical translator in Germany and for a telecommunications company in Paris during this time. After graduation I got married to Linda and we moved to Cheltenham where I worked as a Linguist Specialist (Russian) at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

In 1984 we moved to Bristol where I trained for ordained ministry in the Church of England. After graduation from Trinity College, Bristol with a BA in Theological Studies in 1987, I was ordained in Carlisle Cathedral to serve at St Thomas, Kendal, and St Katherine, Crook. From there I moved to the Diocese of Leicester in 1991, becoming Vicar of Rothley in 1992 and beginning eight very happy years in a wonderful place with wonderful people. I was elected to the General Synod in 1995 and served (with a brief break) until 2005, serving on the Board of Mission, Partnership for World Mission and to the Crown Appointments Commission Review Group.

In February 2000 we moved to the Diocese of Southwark to take up the post of Archdeacon of Lambeth. I was consecrated Bishop of Croydon at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in May 2003. I became Bishop of Bradford on 1 April 2011. The Diocese of Bradford was dissolved on 20 April 2014 (Easter Day) as the new Diocese of Leeds was created – I become the first (Anglican) Bishop of Leeds on 8 June 2014.

My portfolio of responsibilities have included: English Co-chair of the Meissen Commission (Church of England relations with the Evangelical Church in Germany) 2007-17,  representing the Archbishop of Canterbury in an international interfaith initiative based in Kazakhstan and member of the House of Bishops’ Europe Panel. I was also the Bishop for Diocesan Communicators and am an experienced media broadcaster and writer. For nine years I chaired the Sandford St Martin Trust which promotes excellence in religious broadcasting.

I was a Director of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group from 2002-2010. For many years I have regularly contributed to Pause for Thought on Radio 2 and a book based on these reflections, ‘Speedbumps & Potholes’, was published in 2004. Other books include ‘Marking Time: Reflections on Mark’s Gospel for Lent Holy Week and Easter’ (2005), ‘Hungry for Hope?’ (2007), ‘Scandal of Grace: The danger of following Jesus’ (2008) and ‘Finding Faith: Stories of music and life’ (2008), ‘Why Wish You a Merry Christmas?’ (2009), ‘Freedom is Coming’ (2019). I regularly write and present Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

I have received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford, and Honorary Fellowship from Bradford College, and an Honorary Doctorate in Practical Theology from the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany.

We have three adult children and three grandchildren.

I am passionate about Christian engagement in the big wide world – not on our own terms, but on the basis that we get stuck in wherever we can. This means that I think the messiness of the Church is a good thing and that we must be bolder (and thicker-skinned) when it comes to engaging with the world for the sake of the Kingdom of God. This means that we must be curious about the world, interested in the world and committed to the world in all its pain and glory.

I love music, literature, film and theatre. I try to love art, but often don’t know the ‘language’. And that is why this blog will roam far and wide over whatever takes my eye or ear. The Church is often criticised for being obsessed with the Church – but I believe the Church exists for the sake of the world and it is there that my musings find their stimulation. I can understand why God loves the world – it is a wonderful and amazing place to be.

108 Responses to “About”

  1. Anne Leslie Says:

    Hi Nick
    No hate mail, or profound comments, about current news items.
    Just to say I met with my spiritual director today and mentioned you had been at LA last week. Her name is Gwyneth Evans and she still remembers the kind letter you sent her after your ordination service to priesthood, when she was stuck in the diaconate!
    Best wishes from Anne.

  2. sarahbereza Says:

    How cool that you, as a bishop, are choosing to interact with people via a blog!

  3. nickbaines Says:

    I don’t know about ‘cool’, but it’s fun so far!

  4. Justin Says:

    Very much enjoying your blog which I have just discovered – can’t think why I haven’t come across it before! Thought you might like to know that I’ve added a link to it into your Wikipedia entry.

  5. nickbaines Says:

    Thanks for doing that. I have only been blogging since mid-November last year.

  6. Anne Leslie Says:

    I have just read “About” on your blog and wow do I agree with your last two paragraphs about the Church exists for the sake of the world and should be fully engaged with it, and the world’s an amazing, interesting place etc.

    However there still seem to be many clergy who appear to be very inward looking and behave almost as though their congregation does not have a life outside the church building! I suspect this may be one reason why some people give church a try and then just wander off feeling that “the church” is not interested in their life and what’s happening in it.


  7. Chris Hackworth Says:

    Hi Nick

    Great to see you in Church at Rothley last Sunday – I enjoyed your blog and reminded me of your time at Rothley – an excellent way to keep in touch

    Diane and Chris

  8. nickbaines Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Good to see you last weekend, too. It seems a long time ago now! Do feel free to comment on anything you see in the blog and join inthe discussions.


  9. unfinishedchristian Says:

    Hi Nick,

    You inspired me to blog- I’ve been going 2 months please link to mine at http://unfinishedchristian.wordpress.com/

  10. nickbaines Says:

    That’s good! It’s fun, isn’t it – until the trolls get going. I’ll link you up.

  11. Anna Says:

    Hello Nick
    On your blog I can’t find any way to subscribe to your blog by email – my step mother would like to subscribe but she is still on dialup so would prefer email updates rather than reading online. I use the rss feed to my netvibes to get your blog posts which I find very challenging, interesting, inspiring and quite often funny – thank you.

  12. nickbaines Says:

    Thanks Anna – you are very kind. I don’t know how to do what you ask, but I will ask a techie and find out!

  13. nickbaines Says:

    Anna, we have now added an email subscription feed. I hope it works! Let me know.

  14. Adrian Wilkinson Says:

    By a very around about route I have just come upon your blog, and had to write to say ‘Hello’. You may remember me from St. Thomas’ Kendal, where I attended with my then wife Audrey (we are now divirced), and I was on the PCC.

    I now live in southern Spain – with my new wife, and where I am involved with the Chaplaincy of St. George, Malaga as congregational warden in Cómpeta, where we live. I am also on the Archdeaconary Synod of Gibraltar, so you can see that I am still very involved in church life.

    I trust that you are not – “too restless” – a Bishop, and would love to hear from you if you have a minute to email.

    God Bless

    Adrian Wilkinson

  15. James Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Just heard you on the very interesting debate about “De-baptism” on Radio 2. My question to you is simple:

    As you’ll know well (c.f., e.g., Luke 3:23), Jesus wasn’t baptised until age 30. Why then have people since then and why should people today be baptised at an earlier age?



  16. nickbaines Says:

    James, if you follow the logic, we would only baptise male Jewish oldest sons at the age of 30 – if they ahd also been circumcised when they were a baby. Baptists believe baptism is an act of commitment on the part of the person being baptised; paedobaptists believe baptism is a reception of the grace of God and response to what God does. Baptism either way (though the individualism of some baptist practice could do with some ecclesiological backing-up) recognises the corporate nature of the church and incorporates the person into it. Paedobaptism holds the covenants of the Old Testament together with the new world of the emerging church and interprets the NT texts in the light of a biblical theology that takes the OT seriously. I was baptised at 14 in a Baptist Church!

    I will blog on other elements of this later.

  17. Johnny Laird Says:

    Glad to have discovered your blog via Twitter, Nick.

    Peace & blessings


  18. Fiona Says:

    Hi Nick, am checking out your blog as promised, hows your book going? Done much since Spring Harvest?

    warmest regards

  19. nickbaines Says:

    Hi Fiona, I have to finish book by the weekend and still have two chapters to write. Spent all this evening writing scripts for Radio 2 – recording on Friday. Since SH I have done a three-day conference in Austria last weekend (in German). I need a holiday! Hope you are well.

  20. Peter Banks Says:

    Just rec’d your ‘Finding Faith’ book after your response to my Blog comment! Would love to send you some more info of stuff I have done using mainstream hymns – let me know…


  21. nickbaines Says:

    Send it, Peter!

  22. Hi Nick,

    Just wanted to say thank you for the confirmation service on Sunday it was great.

    I thought you might want to have a look at this website that explains the community arts project I was involved in in Liverpool.


    Many Thanks

    Eleanor Heath

  23. thomclarke Says:

    Hi Nick,

    I just wanted to invite you to participate in a brand new political blogging and social networking tool called http://www.PollBooth.com

    The site is currently closed to the general public, only politicians, journalists and bloggers such as yourself will be invited to join for the time being.

    If you wish to participate prior to the public launch just add pollbooth.com to your links on your wordpress blog then send an email to request.invite@pollbooth.com including the webaddress of your current blog and if approved I’ll send you an official invitation code allowing you to register on the site.

    I hope to hear from you shortly and if not apologies for contacting you.


  24. nickbaines Says:


    I’ll leave it for the moment. I don’t want to spend even more time on the laptop. But, I’ll look at it later. Thanks anyway.

  25. Nick,
    I am a Masters Student at Goldsmiths-University of London (TV Journalism). I am making a short film about secularism amongst youths and am looking to interview someone from the church. Sometime before the 12th of June at your convenience if you would be willing. It won’t take more than 20min. Please e-mail me if you can work something out.

    Kind Regards,

  26. nickbaines Says:

    Let me have a number (bishop.nick@southwark.anglican.org) and I will call you. Time is tight, but I will see what I can do.

  27. David Batty Says:

    Dear Bishop Nick,
    I heard your excellent interview on Radio 4’s Today programme and completely agree with your comments about the way we are in danger of forgetting Christmas’s real story. I am a film director (25 years experience making documentaries for Channel 4) and for the past year have been making a series of films to illustrate the Gospels, based on the Common Lectionary. I have also filmed a 17 minute Nativity film (with versions for both adults and Children) based on the Gospel accounts. The Childern’s version is narrated by Diane Louise Jordan. We filmed it all in Morocco with a full cast and a proper 35 mm film camera. We are hoping it will be used in Churches and especially Sunday Schools as part of their Christmas Worship. If you are interested I will send you a copy. Our aim is to bring the Bible alive for a new media generation. We use the tag line “Stained Glass for the 21st Century: a new window on the Bible”.
    You can find out more from our website – http://www.bigbookmedia.com
    I hope your book is read by a lot of people. Is there a website where it is promoted or for sale and I could then adda link to our website?
    Best wishes,
    David Batty.

  28. Liz Jackson Says:

    Dear Nick

    As a new mother who is at home at the moment, I have seen/heard you several times recently about the Christmas story. I would just like to say that I think you have been widely misquoted by the press and the point you are making is entirely relevant and correct. We should have an accurate picture of Jesus’ birth and childhood, bearing in mind that he was fully God and fully man, and strive to make children understand this. God bless you for bringing this truth up at a time of year that increasingly seems to forget Jesus.
    Best wishes

  29. dona Says:


    I agree with Liz. I saw you on BBC Breafast this morning. Despite barely allowing you to get a word in edge-wise – *I* understood what you were saying! And thank you: I believe that the words in some unrealistic carols may incline kids to equate Jesus with the anagramatically-named chap in the red suit – and dispense with him when they dispense with fairy tales. Thanks for highlighting the issue, and have a blessed Christmas!

  30. Dear Rev. Baines, I am an MA Journalism International student at the University of Westminster and would love to interview you for a class assignment I have on your views on Christmas Carols. If you should oblige, can you tell me how I can contact you for further details?

  31. You will be happy to know that you made the national newspaper in the USA: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-03-christmas-carols_N.htm

    You might enjoy the hymns by my wife/co-pastor, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, who has published two books of hymns. Google her name and you will find many of them online. Here is one that is a contrast to “Silent Night”

    What a World of Sound
    HYMN TO JOY D (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)

    What a world of sound it must have been for Jesus, newly-born–
    Mother Mary singing songs of praise to God that Christmas morn;
    Joseph, reaching for the child, whispering when the baby fussed;
    Songs and whispers bear the promise: You are truly God-with-us.

    Surely there were sounds of women from that small community,
    Stopping by to see the baby, offering hospitality;
    Lambs were bleating, donkeys braying, children playing in the street.
    Jesus, close against his mother, felt her heart’s rejoicing beat.

    In that town were shepherds calling; workers there were cutting wood;
    In the distance, angry shouts and people begging for their food;
    In a doorway, someone weeping, saddened by some inner pain–
    Jesus, in your incarnation, unto each of these you came.

    What a world of sound we live in; many words we daily hear.
    Mid this world’s conflicting voices, be for us God’s Word so clear.
    Help us listen to your story; help us hear you when we pray.
    In you, Jesus, is our hope: God came to us on Christmas Day.

    Luke 2:1-21
    Tune: Ludwig van Beethoven, 1824 (“Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”)
    Alternative Tune: IN BABILONE (“There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”)
    Text: Copyright © 1998 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
    Copied from Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press, 2000). Email: bcgillette@comcast.net

  32. nickbaines Says:

    Thanks, Bruce! I see USA Today simply reproduced the stuff from the UK press – that didn’t make me happy! But I enjoyed the carol.

  33. george Says:

    Hi Nick!

    I got your info from a mutual friend (?) named Jeremy Goulston who is a vicar in the Oxfordshire area and encouraged me to contact you and see how we could find ways to connect. I have a book in publishing at the moment and an initiative that seeks to invite those from all walks of life and religions to come together and find ways to practically meet global needs….would love to hear back. feel free to check out more about me a the blog above…thanks bro!

  34. nick,

    you write come engagin stuff. would you up for skype. your name came up in another conversation this week from a friend at lee abbey. would love to see if that might be possible? till then, keep writing and will wait to hear back!

  35. Iain Says:


    Your view that the church should engage with the world is very persuasive and I look forward to reading your blog.

  36. Skinhead Says:

    Dear Nick,
    You may yet regret telling the world about your blog, via Radio Times! I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a time waster for you. Anyway, thank you from me; I’ve added your RSS feed to my Google homepage.

    Perhaps it’s a bit late for this Easter, but I’d be really interested to hear your views on the Atonement. I mean, perhaps it made sense in an era of terrifying, bestial gods who demanded appeasement to the point of human sacrifice; but do you really believe that the sin of us measly humans on this speck of dust in the cosmos, sad and sick though it is, provokes such wrath in the Creator of all? Can this wrath be expunged by the death, suffering and alienation of an innocent and beloved Son?

  37. Paul Baines Says:

    Hi Nick

    A blogging bishop is most definitely a step in the right direction!



  38. Stanley Glentrammon Says:

    I enjoyed your piece on Nick Clegg because of the stimulating European comparisons, when UK politics can be so insular. You show that Christians, who are an international faith, can engage with the world and influence opinion without being preachy or one-issue bores.

  39. nexi Says:

    Think this is one of the most inspirational ‘About Pages’ I’ve come across. It’s not often we linger on the ‘God so loved the World’ half of the verse!

    Best wishes from a passing Baptist.

  40. Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof,

    Sie schreiben, dass Sie deutsch mögen, darum wage ich diese Zeilen.
    Ich bereite in unserer Kirchengemeinde ein Coverkonzert vor mit dem Titel: “Gott in den Charts” und versuche das Lied “One of us”.zu verstehen.
    Ich traue mich mal, Sie zu fragen.
    Macht meine Deutung einen Sinn? Sie haben sich ja auch mit dem Song auseinandergesetzt.
    Ihr Buch “In höchsten Tönen” habe ich gerne gelesen, obwohl der deutsche Titel irreführend ist.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen

    Reinhard Chudaska

    One of us:
    Joan Osbourne scheint keine guten Erfahrungen gemacht zu haben bei ihrer christlichen Sozialisation. Ihr ist wohl in Strenge beigebracht worden, sich vor Gott zu ducken. Ihr wurde eingehämmert. “Gott ist groß, ja, ja, ja.” Das scheint sie hinter sich gelassen zu haben, und die Aussicht, dass die Kirche doch Recht haben könnte ist total unattraktiv. Würdest du Gottes Gesicht sehen wollen, wenn das bedeuteten würde, die christlichen Glaubenssätze anzuerkennen über den Himmels, über Jesus, die Heiligen und die Propheten?
    Sie hat sich wohl weit davon gelöst und spielt mit dem Wagnis, Gott frech vor das Angesicht zu treten. Sie benutzt Worte, die in Bezug auf Gott ziemlich ungebührlich sind. Was wäre wenn Gott wie ein Penner wäre, ein Chaot, eine Schlampe, wie einer von uns? Vom heiligen Gott, vom Menschen, der edel, hilfreich und gut sein soll, hat sie sich weit entfernt.
    Was wäre, wenn Gott einer von uns wäre, die Frage provoziert natürlich den christlichen Glauben, denn der bezeugt gerade, dass dies nicht nur ein Gedankenspiel ist, sondern Glaubenswahrheit. Können wir das akzeptieren, dass Gott sich in die Abgründe des Menschseins begeben hat?
    Aber auch für Distanzierte hat das Lied einen Stachel. Sollte der Glaube die Wahrheit lehren, was würde bei mir den Ausschlag geben? Das was ich will oder was die Wahrheit verlangt?
    Joan Osbourne stellt die richtigen Fragen, was wäre, wenn Gott einer von uns wäre, was würde ich ihn fragen, wenn ich nur eine Frage hätte, wärst du bereit jedes Risiko einzugehen, Gottes Gesicht zu sehen, wenn er eins hätte? Aber erwartet sie selbst eine Antwort? Beißend sarkastisch endet das Lied: Wenn Gott einer von uns wäre, dann müsste er seinen Weg auch alleine gehen. Niemand würde ihn anrufen, außer der Papst vielleicht.

  41. nickbaines Says:

    Reinhard, vielen Dank für diese Bemerkungen. Sie haben recht – ich habe in meinem Buch mit deisem Lied auseinandergesetzt. Ich denke, dass Sie das Lied misverstanden haben. Das Lied wurde nicht von Joan Osbourne geschrieben und ich finde darin keine ‘beissende Sarkasmus’. Es ist nicht ein theologisches Lied – im christlichen Sinne – sondern ein Lied in dem uns eine sehr tiefgreifende Frage gestellt wird: ‘Wie sieht Gott aus? Und wie würde sein Leben aussehen, wenn er genau sowie uns Menschen in einer komplizierten Welt leben müssten?’ Die Frage wird gestellt, aber Antwort gibt es nicht. Meiner Meinung nach, ist die Frage in diesem Lied ein Startpunkt und nicht der Sclusspunkt.

    Ich hoffe, dass Sie mein schreckliches Deutsch verstehen.

  42. Sehr geehrter Herr Bischof,

    thank you for writing me. If you want to answer you can write in English though I think your German is very good. I like to read English books, but it’s hard for me to explain theoretical thoughts in your language. But you wrote in my language so I will dare to do in yours.
    You are right “One of us” is a wonderful song written by Eric Bazalian. There are very deep questions and they are all important. But I discussed this song with a friend of mine. He has an American evangelical mother. He said, he would never dare to compare God with a slob. It was a real shock for him. He also said: “Call it to his face” that’s provocative. You know, I am a German, so it’s important for me to get the right feeling. Maybe the song is not theological, not in a dogmatic way, but if you would give your answer to Mr Bazalian: “God looks like Jesus” he would say, now I feel forced to agree with something I don’t want to agree with. You are right, Mr Bazilian writes questions and gives no answers, so it’s up to those who are listening to look for answers. We are free to do it in our own way. He asks “would you wanna see” but for him it’s the worst case that the church might be right. So he jokes about the pope. My friend said, probably the author’s background is the catholic church. I think the sarcasm is not against God or the faith but against the church. It’s like Genesis'”Jesus he loves me”. The song is not against the Christian message but against a sort of evangelists.
    I love too “You found me” by The Fray. In this song God is smoking a cigarette and giving no answer too. We need such songs. It is not good for us only to read “Footprints in the Sand”.
    I hope you enjoyed the Kirchentag. Please come to Dresden next year. I hope to be there among your audience.

    Reinhard Chudaska

  43. Phil Ewing Says:

    Just passing by and i wanted to congratulate you on your blog- it’s great.
    I am a Catholic but I am a fan of Hans Kung and he often gets a bad press these days from some quarters of my church but it was his writings that brought me back to my faith after a long winter away from it in my early twenties ( many years ago). I am really gald that you posted on the Kirchentag and have put a link to it on my blog.

  44. nickbaines Says:

    Phil, glad to have you on board!

  45. bagpussjanet Says:

    I have enjoyed listening to you on BBC Radio 2’s “Pause for Thought”. At least, I thought it was you. I have just looked on their site as I wanted to read this morning’s PFT (the reference to Goosey Ghandi made me chuckle), and clearly on the website it states…

    From Nick Barnes, Bishop of Croydon!

    I’m glad to have discovered your Blog and will now follow with interest.

    Janet 🙂

  46. nickbaines Says:

    bagpussjanet, thanks for this and welcome to the blog community. It gets lively sometimes! I’ve just texted the producer to ask them to correct my name on the R2 site!

  47. Kay Clarke Says:

    Hi Nick
    I am an old friend of Pauls and learnt of your blog via his facebook. I applaud your encouragement to be bolder when it comes to engaging with the world. I have caught the bug and will be a regular reader. All the best for the Cork clergy week I’m sure it will be full of blessings

  48. George Says:

    Hey Nick!

    Was encouraged to contact you from a few Anglican Vicars as it seems we have much to talk about in terms of similar outlooks on things, love what youre doing, would love to hear back bro and see if we can turn the world upside down….

  49. nickbaines Says:

    George, who are you, where are you and what do you do?!

  50. George Says:

    Hi Nick!

    I am an author (Jesus Bootlegged, out in Jan), cultural theorist, speaker, journalist, interfaith developer and human rights worker. have worked in the church (internationally) over te course of the 13 years; working with some friends (brian mclaren, and shane claiborne) on some interfaith project. working with brian m. and john caputo on an intergenerational scholar/theologian project and some others in the works with some emergents…would love to connect…my email is up there…

  51. ganesh Says:

    I am an author (Jesus Bootlegged, out in Jan), cultural theorist, speaker, journalist, interfaith developer and human rights worker. have worked in the church (internationally) over te course of the 13 years; working with some friends (brian mclaren, and shane claiborne) on some interfaith project. working with brian m. and john caputo on an intergenerational scholar/theologian project and some others in the works with some emergents…would love to connect…my email is up there

  52. Sarah Darby Says:

    Hi Nick, I am a member of St Peter’s Limpsfield, I have listened to you preach, I have shaken your hand,but only a few weeks ago, as I read about you, and your departure to Bradford, did I realise we must have known each other 30 yrs ago. I studied French with Spanish at Bradford 1974-78, then trained as nurse. My years in Bradford, taught me much more than French and Spanish. My husband is a civil engineer and we have lived in Lesotho and visited Zimbabwe. We particularly wanted our children to attend multi cultural schools so sent them to school in Croydon. I know you leave Croydon this weekend to return to the cathedral where I was confirmed as a student. Such a shame we never realised how much we had in common when you were preaching in Limpsfield. Thanks for Penny . She is a breath of fresh air.I wish you well as you take your inspiration back to the city and culture of your student days. Sarah Darby nee Bays

  53. johnian Says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking for some time for a blog like yours: I want to keep abreast of what I might call enlightened thinking in the C of E (as presented by Giles Fraser, Richard Holloway, Marcus Borg etc). In my own blog (The Serene Light), I try and work through some thinking aloud about the great historic questions, so it would be great if I could do that with and amongst, as it were, a network of interesting voices, ordained or not. Any suggestions? Whom should I be reading or listening to?


  54. nickbaines Says:

    johnian, click on those whom other bloggers follow and see where you get. The interesting thing for me is always to be open to surprise…

  55. nickbaines Says:

    Sarah Darby, it is a shame to discover this now! I was in Bradford from 1976-80, so we definitely overlapped. Still time to catch up…

  56. Helmut Kreinecker Says:

    Hallo Nick
    Wäre nett wenn Du dich mal bei mir melden würdest. Habe noch eine Entschuldigung Dir gegenüber offen.

  57. Christine Burgess Says:

    Hi Nick, great that you’re back “up North!” A question about the Draft Measure; If we vote “yes”, can we be sure that the code of practice will give a woman bishop the right to delegate authority rather than transfer authority when she has a “traditional” bishop in her diocese?

  58. nickbaines Says:

    Christine, hopefully we’ll see you again very soon. You can only be sure of what you want if the General Synod sticks to its present position. If you vote for the draft Measure, you can still urge your reps to vote against the final Measure, if it offers transfer instead of delegation.

  59. Charles Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Just to say, on behalf of all in Bradford Diocese, can’t wait for you to join us..love reading your blog.

  60. Heidi Says:

    Hi Nick. Am reading your book “Marking Time “through Lent. In todays you quote “Sometimes it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel etc” I found that most profound for me in a time of need. Thank you and Jesus, of course.
    Kind regards Heidi

  61. dave Says:

    eidt from previous forgot to mention the quoted Genesis 7:24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. would that make 150k years?
    and also the Revelation 9:3-5 bit. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months… erm lunar moths of 28 days would give 140k years so far adding all these together gets me to…323000 years Confucius say man counting time got time on hands, hope you all like my humour. Peace to all.

  62. Rob Heap Says:

    Hi Nick,

    Not sure if you remember me, I was at St Thomas’ Kendal and became a Christian during my confirmation classes that you led back in 1990.

    Glad to see you are in the North again, I have just realised that you are actually now my bishop as we live in Farsley (West Leeds but I think just in your patch)

    I’m sure you are very busy but it would be good to catch up sometime.

    Rob Heap

  63. Phil Green Says:

    Just been reading through all the responses here.

    It is just great to be able to connect with a Bishop who is accessible, interesting, culturally relevant and engaging.

    Nick, I not sure you realise how important this type of blog network is. I only stumbled across it last weekend because, extremely sad man that I am, I tend to surf the various Diocesan websites to find out what is happening up and down the country. I saw the Link to “Bishops Blog” clicked on it and…well …the rest is history!

    Also, it is proof that you don;t have to be from a certain educational stream. to progress..maybe it takes a Comprehensive school trained, redbrick University Scouser to blaze the episcopal trail a bit…but then, being one myself (a Scouser that is..not a Bishop!!!!) I would say that wouldn’t I!?

  64. Jennie Says:

    Hi Nick,

    I finally got round to reading a piece in the Radio Times from March (!) by Niall Ferguson all about the teaching of History in schools and immediately thought of you. You may have already read it, but in case not, I wanted to scan it and e-mail it to you, but can’t find a contact address anywhere. I’ve searched for the piece online so that I could send a link, but there isn’t one.

    How would you prefer I did this – or have you already read it or aren’t interested?

    Best wishes,


  65. nickbaines Says:

    Jenny, email it to bishop.nick@bradford.anglican.org. Many thanks.

  66. Hi Nick

    Don’t expect you to remember me, but I met you last year, (or was it Dec 10?) when you came and spoke at a conference at Westcott House. This seems to be the most obvious place I can ask you this.. Any thoughts on anonymity/ or not with clergy who blog ..? I have been trying to work out if there is a ‘best’ way on this, and what the ramifications are either way. I am in my final year so a ‘soon to be clergy’ blogger.



  67. nickbaines Says:

    Ruth, I am sure others will have a view here. I would be happy to have a conversation sometime, if we can find a time. There are some serious issues to consider before embarking one way or the other.

  68. dearsoeur Says:

    afeatheronthebreathofgod: I do have a view on this. I actually got into blogging anonymously, to start with, because of my career. I am a teacher and teachers are advised strongly not to use social networking sites or any other site where they might be identified by students and contacted “unprofessionally”. I am also quite a private person by nature so didn’t balk at the prohibition. This may not be quite the same for you but I am sure there must be some similar considerations [usually under the heading of ‘safeguarding’] whatever your calling. Be that as it may, I am actually retired now but I still find that blogging with a nom de plume is a very freeing thing. It doesn’t make my responses any less considered; in fact it probably works the other way. I am free to form an opinion without being personally held to account. Is that cowardly? I’m not sure. It certainly shields me from the damage of ill-considered rejoinders … and it still furthers the debate.

    I should add that I am known to Nick both on and off-blog. I made that decision very early on but I don’t really see what difference it would make to any of his followers. As far as I know they don’t know me. I’m fairly certain I don’t know them and I and they would be none the wiser if I simply used my Christian name; probably if I used my full name. If I had my own blog then maybe I would feel it more appropriate to ‘come clean’ … on the other hand Archbishop Cranmer has got away with his/her disguise for long enough and is referred to on the web with some affection.

    One more point – I am hoping to have at least one book published before I depart this life and I have more or less decided, if it happens, to publish under my maiden name, which means that very few people who met me after about 1980 will recognise it as mine. Is that dishonest? Maybe. Maybe it will also safeguard my privacy to a degree. As Nick says, there are lots of issues. I don’t feel weighted down with this one though.

    Hope some of/that helps.

  69. gill Says:

    Nick (and Ruth): on the topic of appropriate approaches to blogging/social networking I wonder if you have come across the helpful post by Digitalnun on the iBenedictines : 10 Rules for Online Engagement. http://bit.ly/zxetlJ

  70. Peter Says:

    Hi Nick.

    I have just listened to your ‘Lent Talks’ contribution on Radio 4.

    I am presently developing what I have entitled ‘The Changing Britain Vision’ (youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQrvYcf0rA ).

    Having listened to what you had to say during the broadcast I’d appreciate your feedback on what it is I am trying to do in the interest of Britain and the wider world (sounds crazy, I know).

    I hope you can indeed find the time to view the Changing Britain Vision video on youtube…

    As an atheist(!) I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with the content of the programme, and hopefully you will concur with my thoughts on my blog:


    If you can find the time in your busy schedule I’d like to ask if you would contact me via email to discuss the above?

    Regards, Peter

  71. Thanks Gill. I follow the Digital Nun, but hadn’t found that link. Very useful, and very timely.

  72. Lee Says:

    Hi Nick – I publish a little (but popular) magazine in Tunbridge Wells – I met Peter Owen-Jones at a recent Well-being festival and he’s our cover interview for April with it’s obvious connections. And Peter being Peter haha doesn’t have any pictures of himself, and I found a potential cover shot of him on your blog – pictures budget are tight if non-existent. So my question in a round about way is, could I use your picture of Peter & credit you in our pictures credits? many thanks for your time Lee

  73. James White Says:

    I was fascinated to read that you may be the new Arch bishop etc. I clicked on the link to your biog to have a read…now, I may be old fashioned, but it seems to me strange that someone who may lead the church of England, not once mentioned Jesus in his write up? Does the most significant church in England now possibly have a potential leader who is more interested in a million things but simply the founder of the whole establishment? I have no desire at all to be controvertial, but I would love an answer. I may be naive- tell me why!

  74. nickbaines Says:

    James White, the biog is a biog. Read the blog to find out the other stuff. Biog and blog do different jobs. Anyway, I didn’t invite all this interest and hope it goes away.

  75. LF Buckland Says:

    I’ve just posted a quote from your blog on my facebook Wall, and thought you’d like to know that I included a link to the blog, too.
    Hope it brings more people to see what is being said… quite a challenge, I imagine, to be posting regularly when the time is limited by the real world’s demands.
    But for those who follow, it can be the inspiration needed to pluck up courage in their own lives..

  76. James White Says:

    Ok! I will read the blog. Thankyou for replying so quickly!

  77. Lee Says:

    Bishop, I’ve enjoyed your writing for a bit, and I’m putting a link to your page on my own blog, Homilies, Prayers, and Bread for the Journey…


    if you ever have opportunity, pop in and say “Hello!”



  78. i also put your blog onto my blogroll…
    very inspiring!
    maybe you also have a look onto mine?

  79. Hi Nick,

    I just found your blog on google whilst working and it has brought a big smile to my face. Given that I work in web design, I would just like to say if you ever need help redeveloping the blog, making the transition to a self hosted wordpress site or with anything else web related that I would more than happy to offer my services (for free of course).

  80. nickbaines Says:

    Thanks for the generous offer. I might well get back to you in the next few months. Keep in touch.

  81. Just came across your blog which caught my attention because you went to the Holt in Childwall. I also went to the Holt but I think you were probably two years ahead of me as I was born in 1959. Glad to hear an “old boy” has done so well 🙂

  82. nickbaines Says:

    Linda Peppin, nice to connect. I am sure a lot of ex-Holts have thrived since leaving school. I just went a weird way! Hope you are well and life is good.

  83. Dear Nick, I was hoping to contact you in connection with an article about people finding faith online in this day and age. I work for the Huffington Post UK. Would you want to have a quick chat or could I ask you some q’s over email? felicity.morse@huffingtonpost.com

  84. nickbaines Says:

    Felicity, I have emailed you.

  85. J H Robbins Says:

    Read to the end – Good! The church needs this sort of thoughtful episkope – I describe myself as ‘Restlessly content’ and I suspect you also may be content to be restless. Greetings from Singapore!

  86. Henry Law Says:

    What an interesting background; would there were more ministers in churches (and in Parliament ha ha) who had experience outside the church (politics). And a bishop who once worked for GCHQ!

    I thought of you yesterday. I’m playing at a wedding in our church in which the groom is from Germany; we’re singing one worship song in German and also “Praise to the Lord the Almighty” with a mixture of German and English verses.

  87. […] Baines has been running his own blog Musings of a restless bishop since 2008 and is a regular user of micro-blogging site […]

  88. williambuggins Says:

    Just found this blog. I am a member of the CofE and also an evangelical Christian.
    I believe that Christians should be engaged in the world, in current affairs, local and national politics. Christians may hold different political viewpoints, but they should be involved in the Name of Christ and always seeking to share the gospel of the Kingdom of God,
    I find that money and fund raising for old, damp and dark churches often takes precedence over sharing the uniqueness of our faith, that the Church hierarchy/orthodoxy takes precedence over our being the Body of Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through believers.
    I think all the agonising over homosexuality is because we fail to see that “homosexuals are sinners too!” and as such should be welcomed into our churches and accepted as longs as they respect our services,
    Sharing the Gospel is the important thing, not gradually diluting our faith so that it no longer offends anybody,no longer challenges anybody, and thus we get invited to more parties..

  89. david bird Says:

    morning nick – it’s dave bird…the first person you ever married. Apart from Linda. It was a close call….Meantime I’m local. Beer? Cheers!

  90. I just came across your blog thanks to the Anglican News Service. A retired AF Chaplain and currently Presbyterian Church (USA) pastor in Florida. Thank you for your insight and candor!

  91. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for your thought for the day this morning on radio 4. It was inspiring. I think the challenge for religion to be sidelined but the point is actually being active in what people believe is well made.

  92. israelissues Says:

    Russell Bowles says,
    Dear Bishop,
    I fully understand your frustration with HM government’s response. There seems to be much rhetoric but only token action. I am grateful for the supply of humanitarian aid but what is the use of feeding people if one then stands by while IS slaughters them? Please use your influence to encourage the government to provide a military response. The Kurds must be supplied with up to date weaponry and the training and practical support (boots on the ground if necessary) to destroy IS.
    Thank you

  93. Nick Salter Says:

    Hi Nick Baines / Russell Bowles. You might find some answers at http://www.ourvote.org There are countless individuals and organisations seeking change, we need to work together with a common agenda
    Nick Salter founder Rational Group

  94. Jenny Says:

    Dear Nick, I am an NSM Deacon in your Diocese, with Rev, Mike Cansdale in Riddlesden and Morton, and I also work as the Interfaith Worker for Touchstone in Bradford. Part of my role at Touchstone is to coordinate the ‘Faith Matters’ column in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus’. I regularly read your blog, and was wondering whether, with your permission, I might be able to use some of your blog posts, particularly the Thought for the Day type posts, as Faith Matters columns (obviously referencing you as the author)? Or, whether you would be willing to be a contributor now and again – although I do appreciate how incredibly busy you are! Mike mentioned that you will be in Germany this weekend helping to lead a conference that he is attending, so I hope that it goes really well. Thank you, Jenny (Ramsden).

  95. nickbaines Says:

    Jenny, this isn’t really the place to ask these questions. Please contact me directly by email, letter or phone.

  96. Sarah Pemberton Says:

    Dear Nick,

    I am writing my undergraduate dissertation on the compatibility of social media and religion. I was wondering if it would be at all possible to communicate with you via email to gain more of an insight into your views on the matter. I’ve been unable to locate an address for you so thought leaving a comment here may be the best idea.

    Hope to hear back from you soon,
    Sarah Pemberton

  97. nickbaines Says:

    I will email you.

  98. Emily May Brown Says:

    Hello Bishop, I am reading your book “Marking Time: Reflections on Mark’s Gospel for Lent, Holy Week and Easter”. Unfortunately, I’m not very patent – since we’re only into the first week of Lent – and decided to carry on reading. Nothing terribly wrong with that, I hope? I’m writing because I was struck by your description of story-telling (putting flesh and blood onto the bones of ideas and perspectives…) in the “Sower and Soils” discussion. It made me think of the passage from Isaiah 5: 1-7… perhaps because of the vivid story-telling once again. I’m really trying to say that I’m enjoying the book and finding it to be pretty useful. Thank you.

  99. Matthias Imkampe Says:

    Dear Bishop Nicolas Baines, I shared Your service in Erfurt on reformations day 2016 and wanna use a part of your sermon for a schoolbook. how can I contact you – Matthew / Germany

  100. Megan Kramer Says:

    Since there are no comments on the posts, I will leave one here for the most recent post on Game of Thrones. I very much enjoy these posts as a general rule, but I’m afraid Bishop, you really ought to have informed yourself about the topic. The reason there has been such a stir about the show’s ending is that the quality of the writing dropped suddenly and dramatically some time ago when the show ran out of book (they are still be written) and became almost unrecognisable compared to any of the previous series. It’s not about a surprise ending. It’s about just plain, conspicuously poor writing when the original author could no longer be followed, leading to characters acting in ways contrary to their established natures and simple common sense. Yes, it’s silly to get worked up about this, you’re right, but with all due respect, you’ve unfortunately made yourself sound rather silly not knowing about something so culturally relevant to the present moment and then even being proud of not knowing. You made theological points which ended up very wide of the mark because you didn’t understand the reference. And it made you sound a bit elitist by making light of something which, again, is a global phenomenon that you appear to have ignored. Just a word to the wise. I look forward to your next post!

  101. nickbaines Says:

    Megan, sorry for the long delay in putting your response up. I immediately went to a retreat house where there was no WiFi and rare mobile signal.

    I take your point and accept your criticism … in part. I removed a qualifying statement – for reasons of word count – which recognised that there was a range of reasons for critics’ unhappiness with the ending. But, if I was wrong to universalise the response, so is your objection. There was a great deal of response on social media from people who just didn’t like the ending and didn’t qualify it in the way you suggest. So, not so silly, but your comments are noted.

  102. Frances Bates Says:

    Thankyou for your refreshing outlook Nick. Your refusal to lay aside critical thought is a blessing to my mind though I know your promptings will be an impossible challenge to some Christians.
    I met you once, some years ago now, at the retreat in north Devon ( name escapes me). Here I was impressed with your clear thinking when faced with a barrage of criticism from evangelically minded Christians. A Minister in the C of E is a rare beast indeed who is not frightened by the reality of doubt ( I suspect within yourself too), yet who can use this analysis to retain and even strengthen the essential essence of faith. As a Quaker who was brought up in C of E and who also studied Theology (in its broadest form), I find your blog stimulating. Thankyou.

  103. […] Rt Rev Nick Baines became Bishop of Leeds in 2014, and is a experienced commentator on faith, regularly contributing to Radio 2 and Pause for Thought on Radio 4 amongst others. The Bishop is a fluent Russian speaker and was formerly employed at GCHQ. […]

  104. Ethna Mathews Says:

    I never usually send messages in response to anything I’ve experienced nor do I use social media .However as an artist, art psychotherapist and catholic I wanted to say how your thought for today on the today programme continued to “ ground me “in all the work I do.
    I hope to work towards a show of my art work in the spring time.
    Kind regards

  105. Ian Blakemore Says:

    Thanks Nick
    Always inspiring. Thanks the R2 today!

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