The Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury
Nicholas Holtam (born August 1954) grew up in North London and was educated at The Latymer Grammar School Edmonton. He read Geography at Collingwood College, Durham and trained for ordination at King’s College, London and Westcott House, Cambridge. He served his first curacy from 1979 to 1983 at St Dunstan and All Saints Stepney in the diocese of London. From 1983 to 1988 he was a Tutor at Lincoln Theological College where he taught Christian Ethics and Mission. From 1988 to 1995 he was Vicar of Christ Church and Saint John with Saint Luke’s Isle of Dogs at the heart of London’s Docklands in the Diocese of London during a period of immense change. From 1995 he was Vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square.
Bishop Nicholas is married to Helen who is half Danish, a committed Quaker and a Maths teacher. She grew up in South Africa and Kenya before her parents returned to England to live in Devizes where she went to the Grammar School and her father, the late Ted Harris MBE, was Secretary to Wiltshire Community Council. Nicholas and Helen have four adult children. He is a regular broadcaster and has written two books – ‘A Room with a View: Ministry with the world at your door’ (SPCK 2008), and ‘The Art of Worship’, a book of meditations and prayers in response to favourite paintings in the National Gallery (Yale University Press 2011). He and Helen enjoy the theatre, museums and galleries. The Bishop is a cyclist and walker who raised over £100,000 by walking the South Downs Way for the Renewal of St Martin’s.
Bishop Lang was born on 15 April 1950 in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Both his parents came from Ireland. His father was a doctor in Cowes having previously worked as a GP in Birmingham. He went to Allen Hall, St Edmund’s College, Ware to train for the priesthood in September 1968 and while he was there he also went to Royal Holloway College University of London, where he gained a BA in history. He was ordained a priest on 7 June 1975 by Bishop Derek Worlock at St John’s Cathedral, Portsmouth. He was then appointed as an Assistant Priest at the Cathedral and Chaplain to St Edmund’s Comprehensive School in Portsmouth.
Four years after ordination he was appointed Secretary to Bishop Emery and Chancellor. During this time he also worked on the Diocesan Youth Commission, which he later chaired. For a number of years he went as Chaplain with the Portsmouth Group to Lourdes at Easter. In 1983 he was appointed to the Religious Education Council as Adult Religious Education Advisor, a position he held until 1990. While doing this work he was also Parish Priest of Our Lady, Queen of Apostles, Bishop’s Waltham, for four years and then Parish Priest at Sacred Heart, Bournemouth.
Bishop Lang’s Episcopal Ordination was on 28 March 2001 in Clifton Cathedral, Bristol. Within the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales Bishop Lang is part of the Department for Dialogue and Unity. He chairs the committee for Theology Faith and Culture. He is the Co-Chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee (ARC) and also the Co-Chair for the Committee for Roman Catholic and United Reformed Church dialogue in England and Wales. He is the Bishop responsible for environmental issues. Bishop Lang was elected as Moderator of the next Churches Together in England Forum to be held in 2009. He is a member of the Mixed Commission of Bishops and Major Religious Superiors and is a trustee of the Pontifical Missionary Societies.