Bishop of Liverpool

The 9th Bishop of Liverpool

The Right Reverend Doctor John Perumbalath was installed as the 9th Bishop of Liverpool on April 22nd 2023. John came from the Diocese of Chelmsford, where he has served as Bishop of Bradwell since 2018.

Bishop John comes from the ancient Christian community in Kerala, South India. He studied at the Union Biblical Seminary in Pune and worked for the Evangelical Union with university students in Kerala. He then specialised in the New Testament for postgraduate research at the North India Institute of Post Graduate Theological Studies, Calcutta / Serampore where he later became a lecturer. He also did doctoral research at Kings College London and the University of North-West. 

John was ordained into the Church of North India in 1994 and served a short curacy at St John’s Calcutta before being appointed vicar at St James, Kolkata. He moved to the UK in 2001 taking up positions in the Diocese of Rochester. These included incumbency in two parishes, chairing North Kent Council for Faith Relations and serving as Church Urban Fund’s Link Officer and Urban Advisor for the Diocese of Rochester.

In 2013 John was appointed Archdeacon of Barking in the Diocese of Chelmsford. This was a newly created role which gave John the oversight of the Anglican churches in the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Havering.  He served as the Chair of Church of England’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) between 2005 and 2018.

Bishop John demonstrates the influence of the evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and Oriental Orthodox traditions that shaped his theology and contributed to his formation and follows a Benedictine framework of spirituality. He has served in catholic and evangelical parishes and has been known as a unifying leader in situations of conflict. He affirms the ordained ministry of women in the Church. In November 2023, he was one of 44 Church of England bishops who signed an open letter supporting the use of the Prayers of Love and Faith (i.e. blessings for same-sex couples) and called for "Guidance being issued without delay that includes the removal of all restrictions on clergy entering same-sex civil marriages, and on bishops ordaining and licensing such clergy.”

Bishop John is the Church of England’s lead bishop for Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and chairs the Churches Refugee Network for Britain and Ireland. He also serves on the Faith & Order Commission and Clergy Discipline Commission of the Church of England.

Bishop John is married, with one adult daughter. He is a keen walker and enjoys reading poetry and novels from various parts of the world.


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