Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, OBE, Bishop of Bedford

Rt Revd Richard Atkinson, OBE, Bishop of Bedford

Richard has been Bishop of Bedford since 2012. Previously he was Archdeacon of Leicester, and prior to that, Vicar of Rotherham. Richard’s ministry has included significant commitment to community focused mission and engagement. This has included being Vice-Chair of a major Housing Association group, Chair of a New Deal for Employment programme, and Chair of a New Deal for Communities programme. He is Co-Chair of the Inter Faith Network UK, and Chair of Council of the Eastern Ministry Training Course, a Near Neighbours Trustee and Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education. Richard is married to Helen, a Professor of Engineering, and has three young adult children. He enjoys cooking, walking, and listening to the Archers.

Professor Les Ebdon

Professor Les Ebdon

Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL has been Director of Fair Access to Higher Education since 1 September 2012. He was previously Vice Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire, following a career in analytical chemistry. He was awarded a CBE in 2009 for services to local and national higher education and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 2011. In 2013 he was named one of Britain’s 500 Most Influential People by Debrett’s.

Rev Stephen Gaukroger

Rev Stephen Gaukroger

Stephen Gaukroger is regarded as one of the most significant church leaders of his generation in the UK. He oversaw a time of remarkable growth during 14 years as Senior Pastor of Stopsley Baptist Church, Luton. In 2008, he finished a period of 12 years as Senior Minister of Gold Hill Baptist Church in Buckinghamshire – one of the largest Baptist Churches in England. He is now the founder-director of Clarion Trust International. 

Stephen is a prolific author, with a popular, accessible style, and has written more than 20 books (& numerous articles) during 26 years of pastoral ministry. His first book, ‘It Makes Sense’, has been used around the world to help people share their faith. This and other books have been widely translated. 

He is married to Janet, and they have three children & three grandchildren. A keen Man Utd supporter, Stephen loves sport of all kinds!