Biography of Bishop James

Bishops > Bishop of Liverpool > Former Bishop of Liverpool > Former Bishop of Liverpool Biography

The Right Reverend James Jones, retired in August 2013. You can read his biography here.

James Jones became Bishop of Liverpool in 1998 having been Bishop of Hull since 1994. Over the last sixteen years he has been deeply involved in Urban Regeneration. For four years he chaired the New Deal for Communities programme in Liverpool (Kensington Regeneration) and has championed community-led regeneration in lectures, articles and broadcasts. 45% of the parishes in the Diocese of Liverpool are designated Urban Priority Areas.

He established and chaired the Governing Body of the faith-based St Francis of Assisi City Academy jointly sponsored by the Catholic and Anglican Dioceses. It is the first Academy to take the Environment as its specialism. A second Academy dedicated to Sustainability will open next year for 1600 11 -18 year olds. Hope Academy is in Newton, St Helens.

He broadcasts regularly especially on ‘Thought for the Day’ for the BBC. He has written a number of books including ‘Jesus and the Earth’ (SPCK 2003) which looks at the relationship between Christianity and the environment.

Working in partnership with other faiths and a number of agencies he has set up Faiths4Change which is an organisation working across the faith communities engaging local people in the holistic transformation of their local environment. Quoting the African proverb “We have borrowed the present from our children” he believes that young people are much more alert to the need to create cleaner, safer and greener communities.

He believes that there is a real tension between community-led regeneration and programmes that are centrally driven. He feels that these tensions are often revealed in the language that is used. People living in local communities tend to use organic language such as “seeds, planting and renewal”; those who control the money tend to use mechanical language such as “triggers, buttons, levers and targets”. He is convinced that you cannot have mechanical solutions to organic problems and that those with the money and the power need to understand more fully how communities die and live again.

He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Hull University, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Lincoln and an Honorary PhD from Liverpool Hope University.

Under his leadership the Diocese of Liverpool has pioneered new ways of the Church connecting with society. He has also developed the dialogue on sexual ethics between Anglican dioceses in England, Africa and America.

He was a member of the House of Lords, Bishop for Prisons, Visitor to St Peter’s College in the University of Oxford, Co-President of Liverpool Hope University, WWF Ambassador, Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Vice President of the Town and Country Planning Association, Trustee National Museums Liverpool.

In 2009 he was appointed by the Home Secretary to Chair the Hillsborough Independent Panel and in 2011 he was appointed to Chair the Independent Panel on Forestry.

Former Bishop



Bishop James is the author of books including

‘People of the Blessing’ (1998, BRF)
‘The Moral Leader’ (2002, IVP)
‘Jesus and the Earth’ (2003, SPCK)
‘Why do people suffer?’ (2007, Lion)
'With My Whole Heart' (2012, SPCK)