Christopher Hill

Bishop of Guildford
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Guildford
In office2004–2013
PredecessorJohn Gladwin
Other post(s)area Bishop of Stafford (1996–2004)
Clerk of the Closet (2005–2014)
President, Conference of European Churches (2013–present)
Ordination1969[1] (deacon)
May 1970[2] (priest)
Consecration7 March 1996[3]
Personal details
Born (1945-10-10) 10 October 1945 (age 76)
ResidenceWillow Grange, Guildford
Alma materKing's College London

Christopher John Hill, KCVO[1] (born 10 October 1945) is a retired British Anglican bishop. From 1996 to 2004, he was the Bishop of Stafford, a suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield. From 2004 to 2013, he was the Bishop of Guildford, the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Guildford. In addition, he served as the Clerk of the Closet in the Ecclesiastical Household of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom from 2005 to 2014.

Education and early career

Hill was educated at Sebright School and at King's College London (studying for his Bachelor of Divinity {BD} and Associate of King's College {AKC} then training for the ministry, gaining a Master of Theology {MTh}). He served his first curacy at Tividale in the Diocese of Lichfield from 1969 to 1973; he was then curate of Codsall from 1973 to 1974. From 1974 to 1981 he was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assistant Chaplain for Foreign Relations and from 1982 to 1989 his Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs. From 1982 to 1989 he was also an honorary canon of Canterbury Cathedral. From 1987 to 1996 he was a chaplain to Elizabeth II. In 1989 he became a canon residentiary and the Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral, London, and from 1996 he was the area Bishop of Stafford in the Diocese of Lichfield.

Hill has been continuously involved in ecumenical affairs throughout his ministry. From 1974 to 1981 he was Co-Secretary of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. In 2013 he was elected president of the Council of European Churches.[4]


In July 2009, Hill courted controversy over interference in another church's affairs by admonishing the Church of Sweden on their decision to approve same-sex marriage, sending a strongly worded letter to the head of the Church of Sweden, Archbishop Anders Wejryd, warning of "immediate and negative ecumenical consequences" owing to the decision.[5][6]


On 28 March 2013, during his sermon at the Maundy Thursday Chrism Eucharist in Guildford Cathedral, Hill announced his intention to retire as Bishop of Guildford saying: "At the end of September, though I have not yet written the necessary formal letters to Queen and Archbishop, I shall hope to see many of you here for a farewell celebration for my retirement."[7]

Ian Brackley, the suffragan Bishop of Dorking, acted as bishop commissary during the vacancy-in-see[8][9] until the appointment of Andrew Watson as Bishop.

On 17 November 2014, it was announced that Hill had been succeeded as Clerk of the Closet.[10]


He is a member of the Athenaeum Club.



  1. ^ a b Church of England — Bishop of Guildford
  2. ^ BBC News — Guildford's Bishop marks 40 years of ministry
  3. ^ Episcopal News Service – Scandinavian Lutheran Bishops Join Consecration of English Bishop (Accessed 26 April 2014).
  4. ^ "News from the Vatican - News about the Church - Vatican News".
  5. ^ Beckford, Martin. Church of England bishops fear for 'fragile unity' of Anglicanism over new gay marriage moves. London: Daily Telegraph. 11 July 2009.
  6. ^ Church of Sweden says yes to gay marriage. The Local: Sweden's News in English. 22 October 2009. Retrieved July 2010 from "Church of Sweden says yes to gay marriage". 2009-10-22. Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  7. ^ Hill, CJ – Renewal of Ministries and Blessing of Oils (Sermon), Maundy Thursday 2013, Guildford Cathedral
  8. ^ "Bishops and Senior Staff". Diocese of Guildford. n.d. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Diocesan representatives elected as process to select a new bishop begins". Diocese of Guildford. 9 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  10. ^ Anglican Communion News Service – Bishop of Carlisle appointed to royal role (Accessed 17 November 2014).
Church of England titles Preceded byMichael Scott-Joynt area Bishop of Stafford 1996–2004 Succeeded byGordon Mursell Preceded byJohn Gladwin Bishop of Guildford 2004—2013 Succeeded byAndrew Watson Preceded byJonathan Bailey Clerk of the Closet 2005–2014 Succeeded byJames Newcome