Indian-born priest becomes youngest bishop in Church of England

A priest born in India has been consecrated as a bishop in the Church of England. Reverend Malayil Lukose Varghese Muthalaly, known as Saju, is the youngest bishop in the Church of England.

Saju, 42, will be the next Bishop of Loughborough. He was consecrated with a staff, or crozier, made of Indian rosewood, during a Eucharistic service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Tuesday.

Saju’s recommendation was made by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, following which he was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II.

“I have prepared for this service very aware of the great privilege that people around the world are praying for at this time. There is a very strong feeling that the wider church is affirming this call,” Saju said as quoted by PTI. .

The ceremony was attended by two of Saju’s four children – Zipp and Abraham – who joined him in prayer during the service.

Who is Reverend Malayil Lukose Varghese Muthalaly?

According to a report by PTI, Saju spent his childhood in Kerala and Bengaluru. He grew up in a leper hospital in Bangalore where his mother was a nurse. He was educated at Southern Asia Bible College in Bengaluru and trained for ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

Saju has now spent 21 years in England, where he arrived on a gap year. He is currently Vicar at St Mark’s, Gillingham and St Mary’s Island in the Diocese of Rochester, a role he assumed in 2019. Prior to that, he was Priest in Charge of the Diocese.

Previously, Saju served his title at St Thomas’, Lancaster, in the Diocese of Blackburn and was ordained a priest in the Church of England in 2009. There Saju was appointed Associate Vicar at St Thomas’, Kendal, and St Catherine’s, Crook, in the Diocese of Carlisle, North West England, in 2011.

Saju has four children – ages 8 to 12 – with his wife Katy.

Saju will be officially installed and known as Bishop of Loughborough on February 5 after a welcome service with guests and representatives of the diocese at Brockington Church of England Academy in Enderby, Leicestershire.

(With PTI entries)

Martha J. Finley