Assistant Bishops

The Assistant Bishops support the Diocesan and Area bishops in a more ad hoc or specialist role. Some are formally retired, but continue to support the ministry in the diocese where they have retired.

The Rt Revd Iraj Mottahedeh

Bishop Iraj retired to Shropshire in 2005. He was first ordained in 1958 and served as curate and then vicar at three of the four churches in the Diocese of Iran. He became Bishop of Iran in 1980 (following the exile of his predecessor) and stayed until 2004 when he retired. He also served as President Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East (effectively archbishop of the province) in 2000-2002
He remains an honorary assistant in both Lichfield and Birmingham dioceses. 

The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane

Originally from Stoke, Bishop Jan was one of the first women ordained in Lichfield Cathedral in 1994 and served her curacy in Stafford before moving to Ely and then Norwich dioceses. In the latter she was simultaneously Bishop's Chaplain and Director of Communications before becoming archdeacon. 

She became Suffragan Bishop of Repton in Derby Diocese in 2016 (and Acting Bishop of Derby for a year prior to the installation of Rt Revd Libby Lane in 2019)

She is the first honorary bishop in the diocese to be licensed by Zoom after moving to be a Residentiary Canon of Lichfield Cathedral during lockdown in April 2020.

Rt Revd Jonathan Goodall

Bishop Jonathan has been the Bishop of Ebbsfleet and a Provincial Episcopal Visitor since 2013, ministering principally to Catholic tradition parishes and clergy who for whom, under the House of Bishops Declaration on the ministry of Bishop and Priests 2014, he serves as ‘the bishop asked to provide oversight’. He holds this role in 12 other dioceses in west and south of England. 

Originally from Yorkshire, he trained first as a classical musician, and after a time as a publisher with Macmillan and Oxford UP, trained for the sacred ministry at Wycliffe Hall Oxford. He served a curacy in Oxford diocese before joining the clergy team at Westminster Abbey as a minor canon responsible for the liturgy and pastoral care. From the most-visited church in the Communion he moved to the most widely dispersed diocese (as chaplain and research assistant to successive Bishops in Europe), and then to serve in an even wider context as chaplain and ecumenical secretary to Archbishop Rowan Williams.

Beyond his service of the ‘Ebbsfleet parishes’, the great majority of which are affiliated to the Society of St Wilfrid and Hilda, he maintains his international ecumenical commitments especially with Catholic and Orthodox communities, and is the Archbishop’s lead bishop for relations with the Eastern Orthodox Churches. He has recently co-founded ICoHS: the International Community of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem).

Office:  0118 948 1038 

Rt Revd Rod Thomas

Bishop Rod, the Bishop of Maidstone, is our other 'Provincial Episcopal Visitor' ministering to conservative evangelical parishes and clergy who on theological grounds are unable to receive the ministry of women as bishops or priests.

Having studied economics, he worked in the civil service and industry before beginning ordination training at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford just after fellow alumni, +Jonathan (above) left!

He spent 22 years in Exeter diocese as curate, vicar and also a Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. He has been a member of General Synod and was chairman of Reform for 8 years.

He was consecrated to his current role in 2015. 

Page last updated: 31st December 2020 2:56 PM