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Stephen George Platten, TSSF (born 17 May 1947 in Southgate) is a retired Anglican bishop. He was the last diocesan Bishop of Wakefield in the Church of England. He was consecrated in this role on 19 July 2003 and immediately prior to that was Dean of Norwich from 1995. He was installed at Wakefield Cathedral on 19 July 2003.[2]

Stephen Platten

Bishop of Wakefield
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Wakefield
In office2003 – 20 April 2014 (diocese dissolved)
PredecessorNigel McCulloch
Other postsDean of Norwich
Rector, St Michael, Cornhill (July 2014 – 2016)[1]
Honorary assistant bishop (July 2014 – present)
Consecration1 May 2003[2]
Personal details
Born (1947-05-17) 17 May 1947 (age 72)
Southgate, London
ResidenceBishop's Lodge, Wakefield
ParentsGeorge Henry Platten & Marjory[3]
ChildrenTwo sons; Aidan and Gregory[3]
Alma materInstitute of Education, London Trinity College, Oxford

Early life and educationEdit

Platten was educated at the Stationers' Company's School. He has a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree from the Institute of Education and a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Theology from Cuddesdon College. He was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree at Trinity College, Oxford. He is also an honorary Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt).[4]

Ordained ministryEdit

Platten was made deacon in 1975 and ordained priest in 1976 in the Diocese of Oxford. His ministry positions include being a residentiary canon at Portsmouth Cathedral and the Diocese of Portsmouth's Director of Ordinands (1983–1990), Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs (1990–1995). He is a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis (TSSF),[5] and served as the Minister Provincial of its European Province from 1991 to 1996.

Between 1990 and 1995, Platten was Guestmaster of The Nikaean Club, a Lambeth Palace dining club with a focus on the ecumenical hospitality of the Archbishop of Canterbury.[6]

Platten was admitted to sit in the House of Lords as one of the Lords Spiritual on 22 June 2009.[7]

It was announced on 3 November 2013 that the Diocese of Wakefield, and therefore the post of Bishop of Wakefield, would be dissolved on 20 April 2014. In July 2014, he became Rector of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London and an honorary assistant bishop in the Diocese of London.[1] He stepped down as rector in 2016, retiring elsewhere in the Diocese and remaining assistant bishop in London, Southwark and Newcastle.[8]

Since 2013, Platten has been Chairman of the Council of Hymns Ancient and Modern, Ltd.[9]

In 2016 Platten was cited in a Guardian report as one of the senior figures in the Elliott Review case who had received a disclosure of child sex abuse but had no recollection of the victim's story. While some of those the victim had spoken to had clear recollections of the disclosures, none of the senior figures had any memory of the conversations. Elliott, who led the review, described this as “a deeply disturbing feature of this case”. The church acknowledged the report was “embarrassing and uncomfortable” reading. A statement from London diocese said Platten had apologised for his “lack of detailed recollection of their conversations in the 1980s” and “regretted he was unable to help further”.[10]


Platten supports the ordination of women as priests and bishops.[11]

On 11 February 2017, he was one of fourteen retired bishops to sign an open letter to the then-serving bishops of the Church of England. In an unprecedented move, they expressed their opposition to the House of Bishops' report to General Synod on sexuality, which recommended no change to the Church's canons or practices around sexuality.[12] By 13 February, a serving bishop (Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham) and nine further retired bishops had added their signatures;[13] on 15 February, the report was rejected by synod.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Platten is married to Rosslie, whose work is focused particularly on children with special needs. They have two sons, Aidan and Gregory, who are both also ordained in the Church of England.[15]

His homepage states that he "has particular interests in the study of theology and relations with other churches. He has recently been appointed as Chairman of the Church of England Liturgical Commission, which seeks to develop the worshipping life of the church."

It also states that his interests include reading, walking, Northumberland and music.[16]



  • Pilgrims, Fount, London 1996
  • Augustine’s Legacy, Darton, Longman and Todd 1997
  • Pilgrim Guide to Norwich Cathedral, Canterbury Press, Norwich 1998
  • Cathedrals and Abbeys of England, Jarrold Publishing, Norwich 1999
  • Deacons in the Ministry of the Church (with Mary Tanner) Church House Publishing 1988
  • Spirit and Tradition: An Essay on Change (with George Pattison), Canterbury Press, Norwich 1996
  • Vocation: Singing the Lord's Song in a Strange Land, SPCK, London 2007
  • Rebuilding Jerusalem: The Church's hold on hearts and minds, SPCK, London, 2007

He has also edited:

  • Marriage, Helen Oppenheimer, Mowbray, London 1990
  • Good for the Poor, Michael Taylor, Mowbray, London 1990
  • Working with God, Andrew Stokes, Mowbray, London 1992
  • The Ethics of I.V.F., Anthony Dyson, Mowbray, London 1995
  • Dreaming Spires?: Cathedrals in a New Age, London, 2006

He has edited and contributed to eight books:

  • New Surroundings, Darton, Longman and Todd 1997
  • Flagships of the Spirit, Darton, Longman and Todd 1998
  • Seeing Ourselves: Who are the Interpreters of Contemporary Society, Canterbury Press Norwich 1998
  • The Retreat of the State: Nourishing the Soul of Society, Canterbury Press, Norwich 1999
  • Ink and Spirit: Literature and Spirituality, Canterbury Press, Norwich 2000
  • Open Government, Canterbury Press, Norwich 2000
  • Runcie: On Reflection, Canterbury Press 2002
  • Anglicanism and the Western Christian Tradition, Canterbury Press 2003


  1. ^ a b Diocese of London – St Michael's Cornhill to welcome the Rt Revd Stephen Platten as Rector (Accessed 20 April 2014)
  2. ^ a b "Diocese of Adelaide — Archbishop's Report to the Synod, 31 May 2003" (PDF). Archived from the original on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 16 October 2010.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  3. ^ a b c Stephen Plattern CV — April 2005 Archived 10 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Church of England — Bishop of Wakefield
  5. ^ "Franciscan Bishops at Lambeth" (pdf). Third Order News (32). January 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Guestmasters of the Nikaean Club since 1943". Nikaean Club. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  7. ^ Archived 24 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Stephen George Platten". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Damning report reveals Church of England's failure to act on abuse". The Guardian. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  11. ^ The Rt Revd Stephen Platten on the Anglican church and women bishops - University of Huddersfield on YouTube
  12. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — The Letter Archived 12 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 11 February 2017; the fourteen bishops were David Atkinson, Michael Doe, Tim Ellis, David Gillett, John Gladwin, Laurie Green, Richard Harries, Stephen Lowe, Platten, John Pritchard, Peter Selby, Tim Stevens, Martin Wharton, and Roy Williamson.)
  13. ^ Retired Bishops' Letter — New Signatures Archived 18 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine (Accessed 17 February 2017; the nine bishops were Gordon Bates, Ian Brackley, John Davies, Peter Maurice, David Rossdale, John Saxbee, Martin Shaw, Oliver Simon, and David Stancliffe.
  14. ^ The Grauniad — Church of England in turmoil as synod rejects report on same-sex relationships (Accessed 17 February 2017)
  15. ^ "Bishop Stephen Platten welcomed as Rector of St Michael's Cornhill". Diocese of London. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  16. ^[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit