Sunday, 16 June 2024

Our Bishops

The Moravian Church maintains the threefold order of ministry of Deacons, Presbyters and Bishops.

Fundamental for the Moravian understanding of the bishop’s office is the function of a bishop “as being a pastor of pastors”. This pastoral function reflects the image of Jesus Christ himself being the “Shepherd and Bishop” of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).

The bishop’s office represents an important element of connection between the ancient Unity and the renewed Moravian Church in 1722, it symbolizes the continuity of our order of ministry. Each bishop has two numbers, the first being the number of the bishops since 1467 and the second being the number of bishops since the consecration of David Nitschmann in 1735. The Unity Archives at Herrnhut keep the official record of all consecrations.

Likewise, the bishop’s office is an element of connection between the different provinces, as the function of a Bishop is valid throughout the Unity as a whole. These connections find their expression in the practice that a new bishop is consecrated through the laying on of hands by at least two other bishops, of whom at least one should come from a different province. There are regular contacts between bishops across the provinces. In the British Province three bishops are required for the consecration of a bishop.

In the British Province bishops are elected from among the Presbyters by a secret ballot at the Provincial Synod. A majority of two-thirds is required to secure the election of a Bishop. Bishops are consecrated to this office for their lifetime, but they may choose to retire from active service for reasons of age or failing health. Bishops can be elected as a member of the Provincial Elders Conference, but may not serve as its president.

The duties of Moravians Bishops include:

  • pastoral care to pastors

  • supporting the Moravian Church in being faithful to Christ and the Gospel

  • intercession for the Unity and the whole Christian church

  • carrying out ordinations and consecrations

  • keeping in touch with people in theological training

  • visitation of congregations for the deepening of spiritual life

  • representing the church in ecumenical gatherings and before governmental agencies (if asked by the Provincial Board to do so)

  • In the British Province a Bishop sits on each Provincial Standing Committee and meets regularly with the Provincial Elders Conference

Bishops currently active in the British Province

Rt Rev John McOwat
Rt Rev John McOwat
Consecrated on 21st September 2002

Number 331 (Ancient and Renewed Church)
and 269 (Renewed Church)
Rt Rev Joachim Kreusel
Rt Rev Joachim Kreusel
Consecrated on 29th November 2014

Number 356 (Ancient and Renewed Church)
and 294 (Renewed Church)

Minister at Ockbrook Moravian Church
Rt Rev Sarah Groves
Rt Rev Sarah Groves
Consecrated 16th November 2018

Number 370 (Ancient and Renewed Church )
and 308 (Renewed Church)

Minister at Gracehill Moravian Church

Church House is the Headquarters of the Moravian Church in the British Province and is located in London at:
Moravian Church House, 

5 Muswell Hill, 
N10 3TJ


020 8883 3409

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