Bishop Nicholas “Nick” Baines (born 13 November 1957 in Liverpool) has been the Bishop of Bradford since 21 May 2011. Bishop Nick was educated at Holt Comprehensive School, Liverpool, followed by a degree in German and French at the University of Bradford. He then worked as a linguist at GCHQ (the UK equivalent of NSA) for four years before reading theology at Trinity College, Bristol. In 1980, Bishop Nick married Linda, a health visitor and artist. They have three adult children: Richard (1981), Melanie (1984) and Andrew (1988), and a grandchild.
The Crockford’s entry is as follows:
+BAINES, The Rt Revd Nicholas. b 57. Bradf Univ BA80. Trin Coll Bris BA87. d 87 p 88 c 03. C Kendal St Thos Carl87-91; C Leic H Trin w St Jo 91-92; V Rothley 92-00; RD Goscote 96-00; Adn Lambeth S’wark 00-03; Area Bp Croydon 03-11; Bp Bradf from 11.
“New media offer access to people (like me – a bishop) who might otherwise seem to belong to a remote and mysterious world. They also enable us to engage outside our self-selected safe communities, be present in a space where a different sort of conversation can be had and allow connectivity between people, groups and ideas that in a previous generation might not have been possible, even if desirable.”
He is an experienced broadcaster, regularly appearing on Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2. One of his main priorities is how the Church communicates its message. He says:
“I’m passionate about Christian engagement in the big wide world – not on our own terms, but on the basis that we get stuck in wherever we can; committed to the world in all its pain and glory. And it’s something about which I think we need to be a bit bolder – and thicker skinned.”
Here Bishop Nick turns the camera and acts as reporter/interviewer. Unlike some of his episcopal colleagues, he has a relaxed and easy manner, a professional broadcaster to his fingertips (3.47 minutes):
He has seven books in print, according to his page on Amazon: Hungry for Hope (1991, DLT), Speedbumps & Potholes (2004, St Andrew Press), Jesus & People Like Us (2004, St Andrew Press, later revised and republished in 2008 as Scandal of Grace), Marking Time (2005, St Andrew Press), Finding Faith (2008, St Andrew Press), and Why Wish You a Merry Christmas (Church House Publishing 2009). Speedbumps & Potholes and Finding Faith have been translated into German (Am Rande bemerkt and In hoechsten Toenen, respectively).
Other Church Interests
Bishop Nick is the English Co-chair of the Meissen Commission (Church of England relations with the Evangelical Church in Germany), represents the Archbishop of Canterbury at international faith conferences and is a member of the House of Bishops’ Europe Panel.
He was a Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance from 2002-2010.
Here is a further example of Bishop Nick’s skills on camera.
Bishop Nick voted in favour of the Anglican Covenant, as did the rest of his diocesan synod by a narrow majority. At the last General Synod, he also voted in favour of adjourning the debate to enable reconsideration of amendment 5.1.c, the position generally taken by those in favour of women bishops.
Leap in the dark assessment
Another possible contender for Archbishop of York in due course?