Announcement regarding Rev Dr Peter Sanlon

First published on: 16th February 2019

Sunday 17 February

It has been announced today (Sunday 17 February) that Peter Sanlon will be stepping down as vicar of St. Mark’s Church in Tunbridge Wells.

This is so that he can be received into the Free Church of England, as Rector of Emmanuel Church, Tunbridge Wells.

His last service at St. Mark’s will be on Easter Sunday.

The Free Church of England is a Christian church in the Anglican tradition, committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God; it is a designated Church with which the Church of England has had formal ecumenical relations since 1992.

The Venerable Julie Conalty, Archdeacon of Tonbridge says:

“My prayers and good wishes go with Peter and his family as they take this next step together.

“As a Diocese, our utmost concern is for the pastoral care for Peter and his family, as well as for the parish of St. Mark’s, which remains a parish within the Church of England. We have therefore worked with Peter to support this transition in as pastoral and supportive a way as possible.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Peter as we develop our ecumenical friendship in the Tunbridge Wells area.”

Peter’s move will allow him to take on full-time ministerial responsibility for Emmanuel Anglican Church.


Speaking about his reception into the Free Church of England the Reverend Dr Peter Sanlon says:

“This decision has been part of a process of prayerful discernment through which I believe I am called to continue ministry in Tunbridge Wells. Being asked to serve as the full-time minister of Emmanuel Anglican Church is an exciting invitation to build up a ministry that has already begun to bear fruit.

“I would like to thank Archdeacon Julie Conalty, Bishop James Langstaff and the Diocese of Rochester for their support and I look forward to the new opportunities this ministry will bring.”


The Rt Reverend James Langstaff, The Bishop of Rochester says:

“This move is a positive one for Peter in the context of his developing calling as a minister.”

“As he is received into the Free Church of England we look forward to our continued working with him in our shared commission to share with people the good news of Jesus Christ.”

“I thank God for his years of faithful ministry within the Church of England and pray that his continuing ministry will be fruitful.

As is usual for any parish entering a period of vacancy, a process of consultation and discernment will now begin with the PCC and congregation of St. Mark’s Church as to their own future mission and ministry.


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Notes to Editors

The Diocese of Rochester

We are the Church of England in the areas of Medway, north west Kent and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley. A diverse and vibrant community of faith, we are Called Together to Grow disciples, Enrich our communities and Resource each other in our mission and ministry. Serving a population of some 1.3 million people, the Diocese includes 216 parishes, 88 schools, and two bishops: The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev James Langstaff and the Bishop of Tonbridge, the Rt Rev Simon Burton-Jones.

Free Church of England:

The Free Church of England is a Christian church in the Anglican tradition committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. You can find out more about the history and development of the Church here:

Emmanuel Anglican Church

Emmanuel Church existed in Tunbridge Wells as an Anglican Church, outside the Church of England, from 1769 till 1974. In that year it was demolished to make space for a hospital. Emmanuel Anglican Church revives this work, seeking to uphold its spirit while also introducing a new generation to Jesus Christ. EAC was begun as a Free Church of England congregation in St. Mark’s parish, in October 2017.

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