The Right Rev. Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, is receiving a Doctor of Theology

Posted on 4th November 2011

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the promotion of Christian education in the Diocese of Chester. Bishop Allister was educated at Birkenhead School before taking a place at Peterhouse, Cambridge to read Medical Science.

He later changed to Theology and after graduation he undertook further study for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol. While there he chaired the national Theological Students Fellowship, and was ordained in Chester Cathedral in 1976.

Most of his ministry has been in the Chester Diocese. A curacy in Hyde was followed by another in Sevenoaks where he was also Consultant Editor of the Church of England Newspaper. Moving back to Birkenhead as Vicar of Christ Church he chaired the governing bodies of two church schools, was part-time Chaplain at the newly opened Arrowe Park Hospital, and saw his congregation grow from 40 to over 200 in six years. He then moved to be Rector of St Mary’s Cheadle, again seeing considerable growth in congregations and supporting the launch of a number of initiatives including the Message Trust, the Christians in Schools Trust and the Bible Encounter Trust, all working with children and young people in the Stockport area and further afield.

While in Cheadle, he wrote extensively for Christian journals and spoke at many theological conferences, chaired the council of the Church Society, and served as Rural Dean. In 2002 he was appointed Archdeacon of Chester with responsibility for the Anglican Churches in West Cheshire and the Wirral. Heavily involved in Diocesan administration and pastoral care of the clergy he also became a Trustee of the Diocesan Board of Education for eight years, serving as Chair for almost a year between two Bishops of Birkenhead. As well as visiting many church schools he contributed significantly to Diocesan Board of Education policies including the launch of joint Anglican-Catholic Schools and new Church Academies.

He became a member of the General Synod in 2005 and was appointed to the commission drafting legislation relating to the consecration of women as bishops in 2006, serving until it delivered its proposals in 2008. He was also a strong supporter of the University of Chester Chaplaincy, preaching several times at the annual commissioning of the Chaplaincy Team as well as speaking at the Christian Union. In 2010 he was appointed as Bishop of Peterborough.

Bishop Donald is married to Janice, a GP who also works voluntarily in child safeguarding for the Royal College of GPs. They have three children.