Gillingham vicar announced as next Bishop of Loughborough

First published on: 12th November 2021

Downing Street has announced this morning, Friday 12 November, that the Queen has approved the nomination of the Reverend Saju Muthalaly, vicar of St Mark’s and St Mary's Island Gillingham, to be the next Suffragan Bishop of Loughborough, in the Diocese of Leicester.

As Suffragan Bishop, Saju will share oversight of the Diocese of Leicester with the Diocesan Bishop, The Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester.

For the last seven years in Gillingham, hospitality in parish ministry has been at the heart of Saju's calling.

From the Town Centre Garden Project, Strategic Development Funded Gospel worship congregation, Dementia Café, Foodbank, Messy Church, Peace and Hope (a worshipping community for those with additional needs), he has worked with others to nurture hospitable places where people can encounter the love of a hospitable God.
In reacting to the news, the Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones, the Bishop of Tonbridge says:

"I am thrilled to hear of Saju's appointment.  What a choice! His restless energy and innate desire for the Gospel are so evident, and they are coupled with an astute and reflective mind.  And that gregarious, occasionally mischievous, personality will make instant connections wherever he goes.
"Though we'll ache as friends to lose his company locally, this is great news for Leicester and for the kingdom of God."

Responding to his appointment, Bishop-elect Saju says:

"It is an honour and a joy to be invited to become the next Bishop of Loughborough and I am looking forward to getting to know the people of Leicestershire.

"I am delighted humbled, overwhelmed but also sad to be leaving the communities at St Mark's and St Mary's Island. I have loved being their vicar and it has been an enormous privilege.

"There are so many wonderful people that I have met, worked and prayed alongside and it will be a huge wrench to leave dear friends.  But I will also carry stories, lessons, memories, and of course, hopes with me."
Alongside the normal duties of a bishop, Saju will have particular oversight in the Diocese of Leicester for the diocese's:

His consecration service is likely to take place in London in January and an official public welcome service will be held in the Diocese of Leicester in the spring.

We now pray for Saju, his wife Katy, and their children Jonah, Abraham, Zipp and Zeph, as they take this next step together as a family and in their journey of faith.


A bit more about Saju

Saju grew up in the Syrian Orthodox Church in South India. He was educated at the Southern Asia Bible College in Bangalore and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He served his title at St Thomas’, Lancaster in the Diocese of Blackburn and was ordained Priest in 2009.  

Saju was appointed Associate Vicar at St Thomas’, Kendal and St Catherine’s, Crook in the Diocese of Carlisle in 2011. He has served at St Mark’s, Gillingham and St Mary’s Island in the Diocese of Rochester since 2015 initially as Priest-in-Charge, before being appointed Vicar in 2019. 

He is married to Katy who has a background in Youth & Community Work and has more recently dedicated her time to raising their four children: Jonah (8), Abraham (9), Zipp (10) and Zeph (12).
Currently Captain of Rochester and Canterbury Diocesan Cricket Team, Saju also enjoys running (having just completed his third marathon), playing the guitar and cooking.

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