News Release

New Bishop for Wigan

The members of Wigan congregation raised their hands in a show of thanks to Graham Gifford, who has served as a bishop for over six years. Bishop Gifford was called to serve as Bishop of Wigan in 2008, just as the global economy went into recession. This meant that much of his time as Bishop was spent supporting members through difficult times, and working alongside various local charities.  He also serves as vice-chairman of the Wigan Interfaith Group.

Graham Gifford, age 59, lives with his wife, Janet and has one daughter, Aileen, who is married with four children.

A convert to the church, Graham Gifford has worked in engineering from the age of 15, first in the energy industry, then at the England Preston Temple. He is passionate about a wide range of hobbies and interests, including golf, astronomy, and travel. He is looking forward to having more time to spend with his family, but he also plans to prepare to serve a senior couples mission abroad with his wife, when he turns 65.

Wigan’s new bishop is Scottish-born John Garrett, who has lived in Wigan for 16 years. Bishop Garrett, a father of three, lives in Hindley with his wife, Michelle. He works as a Senior Manager with the NHS Property Services. He is a keen golfer, and enjoys several other sports. In fact, he was capped for Scotland, playing for the national hockey team in the 1970s. He previously served as a bishop in Paisley and in Hamilton, Scotland.

Bishop Garrett’s counsellors are Reiner Dörich, who has previously served as a Bishop in Metz, France, and David Reilly, who has served previously as a bishopric counsellor in Rochdale and in Nottingham.

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