Bishops in the Church of England are ordained to be shepherds of Christ’s flock and guardians of the faith of the apostles. A Diocesan Bishop is the ‘chief pastor’ of everyone in his diocese, lay people as well as clergy. He is required to proclaim the Gospel, teach and uphold ‘sound doctrine’ and to be an example of ‘righteous and godly living’. He is also ‘principal minister’ within his diocese.
In this diocese, the Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan or senior bishop, with responsibility for oversight of the whole diocese. He is supported by three ‘Area’ Bishops (the Bishops of Dorchester, Buckingham and Reading) to whom he delegates certain powers in their own Areas.
Bishops are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. They are responsible for ordaining clergy and confirming those who come forward for ‘confirmation’ of the promises made at baptism.