The Bishop of Wakefield is an episcopal title which takes its name after the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England. The title was first created for a diocesan bishop in 1888, but it was dissolved in 2014. The Bishop of Wakefield is now an area bishop who has oversight of an episcopal area in the Diocese of Leeds.

The area Bishop of Wakefield is one of the area bishops of the Diocese of Leeds in the Province of York. The Bishop of Wakefield has oversight of the archdeaconry of Pontefract, which consists of the deaneries of Barnsley, Pontefract, and Wakefield.[1] As well as being the area bishop for the Wakefield Episcopal Area, Robinson also provides alternative episcopal oversight for the Diocese of Leeds as a whole, administering to those parishes in the diocese which reject the ministry of priests who are women.

The area bishop's residence is Pontefract House, Wakefield.[2] The current area Bishop of Wakefield is Tony Robinson, who has previously been the suffragan Bishop of Pontefract until that see was translated (renamed) to Wakefield in 2015.[3]

The Bishop of Pontefract was an episcopal title used by a suffragan bishop of the Church of England Dioceses of Wakefield and then of Leeds, in the Province of York, England.[4] The title took its name after the town of Pontefract in West Yorkshire; the See was erected under the Suffragans Nomination Act 1888 by Order in Council dated 27 October 1930.[5] In the Wakefield diocese, the Bishop of Pontefract was the suffragan bishop for the diocese as a whole but primarily had alternative episcopal oversight for those parishes which rejected the ministry of priests who were women; Robinson now fulfils this role for the new diocese.[6]

Following the creation of the Diocese of Leeds[7] on 20 April 2014, the see was eventually renamed to become the suffragan see for the area Bishop of Wakefield.[8] To that end the General Synod approved a petition from the Bishop of Leeds in February 2015;[9] that petition was approved by the Queen-in-Council on 19 March 2015[10] and so the see was translated to Wakefield.

Tony Robinson continues in the same See, becoming the area Bishop of Wakefield.[11]

List of bishops

Bishops of Pontefract
From Until Incumbent Notes
1931 1938 Campbell Hone Domestic Chaplain to Bishop Eden, Wakefield, 1902-5. Vice Principal of Leeds Clergy School, 1905-9. Vicar of Mount Pellon, Halifax, 1909-16. Vicar of Brighouse, 1916-20. Rector and Rural Dean of Whitby, 1920-7. Canon and Prebendary Wistow in York Minster,1927-31.Archdeacon 1931-38, Subsequently to Bishop of Wakefield 1938-46.
1939 1949 Tom Longworth Canon and Archdeacon, 1938. Subsequently Bishop of Hereford, 1949-61.
1949 1954 Arthur Morris Canon and Archdeacon, 1946. Subsequently Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, 1954–65.
1954 1961 George Clarkson Canon, 1936. Vicar of Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent 1948. Archdeacon, 1954. Subsequently Dean of Guildford, 1961–68, Assistant Bishop of Lincoln, 1968-77.
1961 1968 Eric Treacy Vicar St Mary's Edge Hill, 1936-41. Chaplain to the Forces, 1940-5. Rector of Keighley, 1945-9. Rural Dean of South Craven, 1947-9. Rural Dean and Vicar of Halifax, 1950-61. Archdeacon of Halifax, 1949-61. Archdeacon 1961-8. Subsequently Bishop of Wakefield, 1968-77.
1968 1971 Gordon Fallows Canon 1952. Archdeacon of Lancaster, 1955. Subsequently Bishop of Sheffield, 1971-79.
1971 1992 Richard Hare Canon 1959-65. Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness, 1965–71.
1993 1998 John Finney Canon 1984-9. Officer for Decade of Evangelism.
1998 2002 David James Subsequently Bishop of Bradford, 2002-2010.
2002 2015 Tony Robinson Area bishop for Wakefield and interim area bishop for Huddersfield since 20 April 2014; See translated to Wakefield, 19 March 2015
Bishops of Wakefield
From Until Incumbent Notes
2015 present Tony Robinson Previously Bishop of Pontefract.[12] That see was translated (renamed) to Wakefield on 19 March 2015.


  1. ^ Maps and information about deaneries and parishes Archived 15 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 13 July 2016.
  2. ^ Tony Robinson. Retrieved on 13 July 2016.
  3. ^ Bishop Tony Robinson Biography. Retrieved on 13 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b Crockford's Clerical Directory (100th ed.). London: Church House Publishing. 2007. p. 948. ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0.
  5. ^ "No. 33657". The London Gazette. 31 October 1930. p. 6719.
  6. ^ "The Society - LeedsDiocese". Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  7. ^ The Church of England – Synod approves new Diocese of Leeds for West Yorkshire and The Dales
  8. ^ Moving towards a new diocese for West Yorkshire and the Dales (Accessed 9 July 2013)
  9. ^ Diocese of Liverpool – General Synod: February 2015 group of sessions (Accessed 21 February 2015)
  10. ^ Orders in Council, 19 March 2015 (Accessed 25 March 2015)
  11. ^ "New Acting Archdeacon". Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  12. ^ The Transformation Programme – Archbishop appoints interim area bishops Archived 10 November 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 10 January 2014)
  13. ^ Wakefield Area. Retrieved on 13 July 2016.