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The Bishop of Ely

The Rt Revd Stephen Conway

Photo of Stephen Conway
Bishop Stephen Conway

On March 5th 2011 the Rt Revd Stephen Conway was installed as the 69th Bishop of Ely.

He was ordained priest in 1987 and spent the whole of his parochial ministry in the Diocese of Durham - in urban priority area, town centre and suburban settings.

He first became acquainted with East Anglia when he trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, Cambridge, and read Theology in the University.  He did a placement on an acute admissions ward at Fulbourn Hospital – an experience that inspired his passionate interest in mental health.  

While serving in the North East, he was appointed as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and later as the Bishop of Durham’s Senior Chaplain and Diocesan Communications Officer. In 2002 he became Archdeacon of Durham and Canon Treasurer of the Cathedral. He served in the Diocese of Salisbury as Bishop of Ramsbury following his consecration in June 2006.

Since he was a curate, Bishop Stephen has been mentor and friend to clergy and lay people helping them to deepen their personal spirituality.  He strongly believes that prayer and worship are at the heart of everything. 

His understanding of church doctrine and liturgical practice were formed principally within the Anglican catholic tradition, but this has been enriched by the positive experience of other traditions throughout his ministry, such as the charismatic movement. As a child, he attended a Methodist Sunday School. He is firmly committed to being a bishop for the whole Church, regardless of tradition.

He has chaired a mission fund which gives grants to support Fresh Expressions, new forms of Church for today’s fast changing world.

He takes a keen interest in politics and community development. He has close links with the leadership of the Council and with other community leaders.  He is a key member of the Wiltshire Assembly, a forum which debates and advises on project planning and decision-making within the county.

Bishop Stephen has played a major role in building up links with Churches overseas and has travelled to countries, such as Sudan and Latvia, to develop closer ties. He also helped to advance the friendship between Durham and the Church of North Elbe in Germany, which is also linked to the Ely Diocese.

Stephen Conway grew up in multi-cultural South London, where some of his family still live.  He attended a Church of England grammar school next to the Oval cricket ground, with free views of test matches. 

He was the first member of his family to attend university and went to Oxford where he read Modern History.  He was selected to train for the ministry while he was still an undergraduate, but first trained as a teacher and taught History and English at an Anglican public school, Glenalmond College in Scotland. 

He coached the school basketball team.  At nearly six and a half feet, his height was a major asset.  He also coached remedial rugby and organised the school’s community service programme.

Bishop Stephen upholds Christian family life. He is single and part of a wider loving family, which includes his mother and stepfather, his two married sisters, a teenage nephew and niece and a number of god children.  He readily admits that he relies on his family, friends and colleagues for support and accountability.

He has been the carer of a close family member who had mental illness. He chairs a mental health charity and, more recently, became the Anglican bishop accompanying the L’Arche Community in the UK, which provides accommodation and support to people with learning disabilities. 

He is a keen walker.  He likes watching rugby and cricket, enjoys the cinema and is interested in the connection between faith and film.  He reads theology, history and biography at anytime, and thrillers at the end of the day.  He likes to travel and enjoys travel literature. He takes much pleasure in offering and receiving hospitality.

You can contact Bishop Stephen by


Telephone: 01353 662749

The Right Revd Stephen Conway
The Bishop of Ely
The Bishop's House