Philip is currently Vicar of Claygate in the Diocese of Guildford and also Area Dean of Emly. Holy Trinity Claygate is a very large parish church which has seen significant growth over the years and which has also sought to resource other churches in their mission.
Alongside his parish and deanery roles Philip’s wider ministry has included serving on General Synod since 2009, and recently contributing to the Renewal and Reform project through being part of the Archbishop’s Simplification Task Group.
Originally a linguist, Philip trained at Cranmer Hall, gaining a first in theology, before undertaking a curacy at an ecumenical church in Basingstoke. He is married to Annabelle, a hospice doctor, and they have two school-age sons.
Philip’s doctoral research concerned the apostle Paul’s hardship narratives in 1 and 2 Corinthians and how they can provide a theological model for Christian communication today. He is passionate about preaching, creative mission through the local church and developing others in Christian leadership.
Philip commented, ‘I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to return to Durham to serve as Warden of Cranmer Hall. Theological education is more important now than ever, and I know from personal experience how superbly positioned Cranmer is to offer excellent theological teaching in the context of a prayerful community and diverse opportunities for practical ministry. I look forward to working with the gifted staff team to enable the training of women and men for leadership in the service of Christ in communities throughout the country.’
Rt Revd Libby Lane, Bishop of Stockport, commented, ‘We have made an exciting appointment in Philip and as Chair of Cranmer Committee I look forward to working closely with him. He will embody Cranmer’s continuing commitment to honouring our inheritance as an evangelical residential training college for the Church of England in the North East, while being innovative and inclusive, both in who we train and how we train, across the whole church for the whole country.’
The President of St John’s Council, Rt Revd James Newcome, the Bishop of Carlisle added: ‘Philip Plyming is an outstanding new leader for Cranmer Hall. His work growing a large local church combined with his role at General Synod puts him at the forefront of the Renewal and Reform movement. He will lead us positively into the opportunities provided by Resourcing Ministerial Education but also in the new partnerships we are developing ecumenically’.
The Principal of St John’s College, Revd Professor David Wilkinson concluded, ‘I am looking forward immensely to working with Philip in the next stage of Cranmer Hall’s development. Its current strengths in recruitment, theological excellence coupled with missional innovation, and its passionate Anglican identity coupled with work with a wide variety of other church traditions means that it has much to share. Philip is a dynamic and wise leader for Cranmer Hall and the right person for this strategic time in theological education’.