New Bishop of Loughborough announced

11 July 2017

The next Bishop of Loughborough has been announced by 10 Downing
Street as Reverend Canon Gulnar Eleanor
, currently Curate Training
Officer and Advisor for Women’s Ministry in the Diocese of
Peterborough and Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.

Announcement on 10 Downing Street Website:

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The Revd Canon Dr Guli
Francis-Dehqani has been appointed as the first Bishop of
Loughborough. The announcement was made from 10 Downing Street this
morning (Tuesday 11 July).

Canon Guli
Francis-Dehqani currently leads Curate Training in the Diocese of
Peterborough. She is also Adviser for Women’s Ministry for the
diocese, a Canon at Peterborough Cathedral, and sits on the Church
of England’s governing body, the General Synod.

As the first Bishop of
Loughborough Guli will take a full role in the work of the Church
across Leicester and Leicestershire, but the post will also have a
focus on supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) clergy,
lay workers and congregations in the county.

“I’m very excited
about the potential for this role which draws together several
important themes in the current life of the Church,” says Guli. “Whilst being a bishop for the whole diocese, it will be a
particular joy and a privilege to learn from and draw out the rich
resources of Christians from minority ethnic communities.”

Born in Isfahan, Iran,
Guli’s family was forced to leave the country in the wake of the
Iranian Revolution in 1980. She was 14. She attended Nottingham and
Bristol Universities and was ordained in 1998, serving in Southwark
diocese. Among other positions, Guli was Chaplain to the Royal
Academy of Music in London for 2 years.

“Guli’s rich
understanding of the world Church, together with her experience of
training and pastoral work in the UK, will be a huge asset to our
diocese,” said the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow. “I
am looking forward to working with her as a close colleague and I
know from my own experience that she and her family will receive a
very warm welcome from the diverse communities of the city and

A mother of three
school aged children, Guli is married to Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani,
Team Rector of Oakham in Rutland. Before becoming a priest Guli
worked as a religious programmes producer for the BBC.

Guli will be
consecrated as Bishop of Loughborough by the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, in Canterbury Cathedral on
Thursday 30 November and welcomed to Leicester Diocese at a service
in Leicester Cathedral at a later date.