The Rt Revd Nick Baines became the first Bishop of Leeds for the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales in June 2014.
Nick Baines was previously Bishop of Bradford (2011-14), and before that was Bishop of Croydon (in the Diocese of Southwark). He read German and French at Bradford University and, before ordination, worked for four years as a Russian linguist at GCHQ.
He says, “This new diocesan post is a great honour and privilege – as well as an enormous responsibility. But I’m confident that this new diocese will thrive and facilitate the Church’s mission, combining as it does the intimacy of the local with the advantages of scale.”
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, said, “Bishop Nick brings a well-grounded understanding of the area he will serve, together with vision, energy and experience in strategic change. He is well-known as a communicator of the Gospel, connecting with people outside the church as well as with parishioners. We have a lot to look forward to in West Yorkshire & the Dales”.
Bishop Nick has a particular expertise and passion for communication and is known for his engagement with the media. He has 10,000 followers on Twitter and his blog – ‘Musings of a restless bishop’ – attracts between 500 and 2000 views every day – pulling in over 1.7 million views in the first five years. He’s frequently asked to comment nationally on topical issues and is regularly heard on the Chris Evans Show on Radio 2 and Thought for the Day on Radio 4. The extent of his writing includes comment pieces for broadsheet newspapers, popular books on Christian faith (he’s written six) and contributions to academic journals. He also chairs the Sandford St Martin Trust which promotes excellence in religious broadcasting through the presentation of annual awards.
Bishop Nick represented the Archbishop of Canterbury at international faith conferences and is the English Co-chair of the Meissen Commission which develops relationships between the Church of England and the Evangelical Church in Germany. He also preaches regularly at conferences in Germany – in German. In 2013 he was the first Englishman to be invited to preach to 130,000 people at the closing service of the biennial Kirchentag which was broadcast live on German TV.
He has a keen interest in music, literature, art, film, theatre and football. He’s married to Linda (a health visitor and artist) and they have three adult children: Richard, Melanie and Andrew, and two grandchildren.