4 November 2021
Bishop Mike Royal has been called as the next General Secretary of Churches Together in England (CTE). He will take up his post in March 2022 when the current General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, retires.
Bishop Mike is the Co-Chief Executive of The Cinnamon Network, a charity helping churches across Britain and Ireland with community engagement and social action projects. He is a founding Trustee and former National Director of award-winning charity Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) which works with children and young people at risk of exclusion from school. He is also a part time Forensic Mental Health Chaplain with Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust. Mike has a BA in Urban Planning from the University of Westminster and an MA in Black Theology from the University of Birmingham. He has been in ordained ministry since 1993 and was consecrated as a Bishop with the Apostolic Pastoral Congress in 2016.
Mike has a wealth of ecumenical experience at local, regional and national level. He led the Street Pastors’ team in Birmingham, the second to be launched in the UK, and worked with Telford Christians’ Together to launch their Cinnamon Faith Action Audit, one of 60 such local initiatives, which have been praised by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as showing ‘the breadth of commitment across the country, the depth of commitment, and above all the strength of experience and good practice.’
He has worked closely with Birmingham Churches Together on their “Standing in the Gap” initiative and is currently Co-Chair with the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 Churches Together Working Group, coordinating the churches’ work on Anti-Trafficking, Young People & Apprenticeships, Health & Well Being, Church Engagement and Social Cohesion and Chaplaincy. Mike represents the Apostolic Pastoral Congress on CTE’s Racial Justice Working Group.
Bishop Mike said “I am both honoured and humbled to accept the role of General Secretary of Churches Together in England, as the church journeys together to fulfil the mandate of Jesus – ‘that they all may be one, as we are one’ (John 17.22).
I pray, as our country and the church navigate together through challenging and difficult issues, that we will all find a deeper commitment to God and to one another, as we travel together on this vital ecumenical journey”.
Bishop Mike will be the fifth General Secretary of CTE since the organisation was founded in 1990, following Canon Martin Reardon (1990-1997), Rev Bill Snelson (1997-2008), Rev David Cornick (2008-2018) and Rev Paul Goodliff (2018-2022). The General Secretary of CTE leads the staff team and with the Board of Trustees develops and maintains the organisation’s vision, promoting unity and mission among the churches in England.
The Chair of the CTE Trustees, Rowena Loverance, said “Everyone at Churches Together in England is delighted and excited by Mike Royal’s appointment as General Secretary. He brings us extensive experience in putting faith into action and we look forward to benefitting – along with all our Member Churches – from Mike’s strategic grasp, theological acumen and deep pastoral concern.”
The current General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, says, “The appointment of Bishop Mike as my successor is a brilliant next step for CTE, which will benefit from his experience of inspiring churches to serve their communities. It strengthens further the commitment of the ecumenical movement in England to the task of making Christ known in word and deed. I look forward so much to the opportunity of working with Mike through this transitional period, and I pray that he will be given much wisdom and grace as he starts in this role.”