Photo gallery: Queen approves appointment of vicar of Cromer as new Bishop of Grimsby
PUBLISHED: 10:58 09 May 2014 | UPDATED: 11:25 09 May 2014
The Vicar of Cromer has been appointed as Bishop of Grimsby, in the Diocese of Lincoln, it has just been announced.
The Rev Canon Dr David Court’s appointment has been approved by the Queen, according to 10 Downing Street, which released the news at 10am.
Norfolk-born Canon Court, 55, said: “I will miss Cromer, Norfolk and the Diocese of Norwich enormously. It has been tremendous to live and minister here but I am very excited by the fresh opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
“The Diocese of Norwich has been a wonderful place to live and work and I am grateful for the support and encouragement of Bishop Graham and so many others”.
He and his wife Ann have two grown-up sons Jonathan, 27, and Matt, 25, and a daughter Naomi, 14.
As Bishop of Grimsby, Canon Court will co-ordinate and develop diocesan mission through parishes, schools, chaplaincies, projects and with partner organisations throughout Lincolnshire.
“I was honoured to be offered this role, and I’m very excited about the opportunities to further the work of mission in historic Lincolnshire,” he added.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said he was delighted that Canon Court’s gifts had been recognised by the wider church, adding: “He has been hugely appreciated as Vicar of Cromer and built one of the largest congregations in the diocese. We will miss him enormously but pray for him and Ann and their family as they begin this new adventure in the service of the gospel.”
Canon Court grew up on Norwich’s Heartsease Estate and attended Heartsease High School, the forerunner of the Open Academy, and is almost certainly the first Church of England bishop to have been educated there.
He read electro-chemistry at Southampton University and went on to complete a doctorate before deciding to teach.
While at university, he explored the Christian faith, and soon made a commitment as a Christian. He became a chemistry and physics teacher at a rural comprehensive school in Oundle, Rutland.
His sense of vocation to be a priest grew and he was ordained in 1991, serving first in the Diocese of Peterborough and then the Diocese of Salisbury before returning to be the vicar of St Catherine’s, Mile Cross in Norwich in 1997.
Canon Court will be consecrated as Bishop of Grimsby in St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday July 25.
During his time in Cromer he became fully involved with local life - and death.
At carnival time he regularly donned fancy dress to man a parade float, but was also in his formal church attire for major community events from civic services to Christmas lights switch-ons.
Two years ago he was at the centre of media interviews during the difficult days surrounding the double shotgun deaths of former mayor Keith Johnson and his wife Andrea - providing a calm voice when tensions were running high.
He also conducted their joint funeral at the parish church, eight years after taking their wedding service in the same building.
In 2010, at the age of 52, he was made rural dean to 30 local churches in the Repps deanery, a role he described at the time as being a combination of “shop steward” and “bishop’s enforcer” feeding parish views to the bishop and vice versa. He became the Vicar of Cromer in 2003 and was later appointed as an honorary canon of Norwich Cathedral.
A moderniser, who also respects tradition, he scrapped the paper version of the parish magazine in 2007 and moved parish news and notices online to the church website.
Canon Court has also learned to surf during his time at Cromer.