Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, and the Synod of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf are pleased to announce the election of the Revd Sean Semple to be the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf.
The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf is one of three dioceses in the Province of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East. It covers a large geographic area of around 10 countries including Cyprus, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen and Iraq.
Sean is currently the Rector of the Benefice of Ross with Walford and Brampton Abbotts in the Diocese of Hereford. He moved to the Diocese of Hereford in 2015 when he was appointed Rector of the Benefices of Weobley and Staunton. In 2019 he was collated into his current appointment and served as acting Rural Dean and then Rural Dean of the Deanery of Ross and Archenfield from 2020 until 2023.
Before coming to the Diocese of Hereford, Sean served as a priest in the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. He was ordained priest in the Diocese of Natal in 2011 following ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa.
Sean’s undergraduate studies in Psychology and Theology were undertaken at the University of Natal and the University of South Africa, followed by postgraduate studies in Spirituality and Clinical Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Nicosia.
Sean is married to Jenny and they have five children and one grandchild.
A date for the service of consecration will be announced shortly and this will be followed by enthronements in the two cathedrals of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf: St Christopher’s, Bahrain, and St Paul’s, Nicosia.
Sean said of his appointment. “It has been a most unexpected and humbling experience to be discerned for episcopal ministry in a Diocese I came to love during my time of ministry there. Working with the clergy and laity of its chaplaincies I look forward to encouraging and supporting the ministry and mission of the Diocese at a time of great tension in the region.
I am grateful to Bishop Richard Jackson for his encouragement and support during this process of discernment. Jenny and I are sad to be leaving the Ross Parishes and the friends we have made in our adopted home of Herefordshire. May I request your prayers for both Dioceses, the Ross Parishes, and my family during this time of transition and as I take up the challenge and privilege of serving as the Bishop of Cyprus and the Gulf.
Bishop Richard said. “Sean has made a huge contribution to the life of our diocese as a parish priest, Rural Dean and member of Synod. He is passionate, strategic and pastoral. We will miss him. However, I am delighted that these gifts will now be deployed in a larger context where he can bless others as he has been a blessing to the parishes here where he has served. The invitation to become a Bishop serving Cyprus and the Gulf is an enormous privilege and it is clear to me that Sean has been called by God to this role. Sean’s gifts and wealth of experience will be richly used. and I greatly look forward to watching him from afar in his new capacity. I will be praying for him and his family as they make the move to Cyprus.”