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New Registrar appointed for the Diocese of Guildford

Following a competitive tender process, we have appointed Kevin Wilson,  from the UK Top 50 law firm Birketts, as our next Registrar and legal adviser to the Bishop with effect from 1 September 2024. 

Kevin succeeds Howard Dellar from Lee Bolton Monier-Williams LLP (LBMW) who has been Diocesan Registrar since 2011 and will continue in the role until 31 August 2024.

Each diocese has a Diocesan Registrar who advises on a wide range of legal matters for clergy, parish officers, PCCs, the Diocesan Board of Finance and its committees including on clergy appointments, ordinations, faculties, pastoral reorganisations, clergy discipline and marriage law.

The Right Reverend Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford, said: “'We are grateful to Howard and his team for the advice and help that they have given over many years, but Bishop's Council determined that it was right to review our needs as a diocese and consider which potential registry might best meet them. In an exhaustive interview process, involving five possible firms, we were absolutely clear that Kevin was the right person to take on the role, given his experience and enthusiasm, and the support of the wider team at Birketts. I much look forward to working with Kevin in the years ahead”. 

Kevin said: “I am delighted to take on the role as the new Registrar for the Diocese of Guildford from September and would like to thank Bishop Andrew for appointing me. I am looking forward to working with Bishops Andrew and Paul, Archdeacons Martin and Catharine, the Diocesan Secretary, Geraldine Newbold, and the team at Church House. As importantly, I am looking forward to supporting all the members of clergy and laity in parishes across the Guildford Diocese in their mission and ministry work. Together with my colleagues at Birketts, we hope to be accessible and responsive to their needs.” 

Kevin has a background in commercial law and moved into ecclesiastical law having studied for a Master’s degree (LLM) in Canon Law at the University of Cardiff where he focused on the practical aspects of the law concerning the Church of England. 

Kevin has been at Birketts since January 2022  and was promoted to Partner this year.  Kevin is already the Deputy Registrar for the Dioceses of London, Norwich and St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich. 

Kevin is a PCC member of his local church, lives in the Diocese of Oxford with his wife, two children, and two rescue cats. He volunteers as a legal advisor at a London legal advice clinic and is a school governor. 

Birketts’ Ecclesiastical Team comprises leading experts in this specialist and complex area of law. The highly experienced team offers advice on all aspects of the law of the Church of England to clergy, laity, church officers, parishes, dioceses and the national church institutions as well as to bishops and cathedral deans and chapters.

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