Bishop of Reading

Bishop OliviaThe Rt Revd Olivia Graham

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Bishop Olivia became the Diocese of Oxford’s first female bishop when she was consecrated in November 2019. She began her career in teaching and international development in Africa,including 7 years working for Oxfam.

Ordained in 1997, Olivia has since served in the Diocese of Oxford, in Garsington, Princes Risborough, and Burnham before becoming a Parish Development Advisor, and then the Archdeacon of Berkshire in 2013. Olivia was announced as Bishop of Reading in July 2019 and welcomed in a special service at Reading Minster in 2019.

Big priorities for Bishop Olivia are the climate crisis and the challenges facing young people, in particular the scourge of knife crime. She attended the COP26 conference in Glasgow and continues to work closely with other faith leaders on environmental leadership. She is one of three bishops who lead the national Church of England work on the environment, and she chairs the diocesan environment work. She is a member of General Synod, having been elected as a suffragan bishop to the House of Bishops.

Bishop Olivia is passionate about social justice and the interface the Church has with the wider world. She chairs the diocesan Partnership in World Mission Council overseeing the relationships with our three link dioceses, Kimberley and Kuruman, Nandyal and Växjö. She has also led the work on Flourishing in Ministry, a set of resources and a leadership approach that supports clergy to develop a healthy rhythm of prayer, work and rest.

She is also trained as an Ignatian spiritual director and leads retreats and quiet days.

Bishop Olivia is married to Keith, and the couple have three grown-up children. You can read more about God in the life of Bishop Olivia.

In February 2024, Bishop Olivia announced her retirement.

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