Top dog-collar gets his calling
ONE of Plymouth's best known churchmen has been appointed as a bishop.
The long-serving Rector of the Minster Church of St Andrew has been named as the next Bishop of Crediton.
The Rev Prebendary Nick McKinnel, team rector at St Andrew's since 1994, was praised by a Plymouth colleague as a much-loved man and "very agreeable sort of guy".
He will be consecrated as a bishop in Southwark Cathedral in November, and will live in Tiverton, taking over from Bishop Bob Evens, who is retiring.
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He and his wife Jan have four children. Three are now married and a fourth is studying at Warwick University.
"Plymouth was a great place for them to grow up," he said.
"I have enormously enjoyed my ministry at St Andrew's and in Plymouth.
"I have lots of friends and have been involved in lots of things going on in the city."
Mr McKinnel, 58, who grew up in Bradninch, East Devon, is returning to his roots.
He said: "I am pleased to be staying in Devon but I will miss lots of things about Plymouth."
He said he hoped to "get alongside the parishes in north and east Devon and encourage them in their life and mission".
"It's a slightly daunting role but one I look forward to with great anticipation."
The Rev Karl Freeman, team rector at Emmanuel Church in Plymouth, said: "Nick will make an outstanding bishop. He is gentle but firm and sure of his faith.
"He is well loved and a very agreeable sort of guy.
"He is brilliant at networking and seems to know everyone in the diocese – and gets on well with all of them.
"He probably knows most of them from the cricket field as he used to captain the diocesan team."
Mr Freeman was team vicar at St Andrew's under Mr McKinnel before taking over at Emmanuel.
"I think most people thought it was a case of 'when' not 'if' Nick would become a bishop," he said.
St Andrew's was a key post for the church to fill, and expected a delay of at least six months while the job is advertised, he said.
Mr McKinnel, who studied Law at Cambridge, is also a Prebendary at Exeter Cathedral, and previously spent seven years in a rural part of Exeter Diocese as the Rector of Hatherleigh, Meeth, Exbourne and Jacobstowe.
He said: "Nationally the Church is transforming its shape but hopefully not its message.
"Like any institution, it has to change with the times."
The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Michael Langrish, said: "Nick has had a distinguished ministry in this diocese already, most recently as team rector of St Andrew's Plymouth, which recently became Plymouth Minster under his leadership.
"Nick will now be able to bring his wide knowledge of Devon to bear on this larger scale.
"He is a team player of enormous integrity and warmth who will enjoy getting alongside people in their lives and ministry and share God's love with all those whom he meets."
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