The Bishop of Bristol, Viv Faull and the Bishop of Ramsbury, Andrew Rumsey, will jointly take over the role - held most recently by the Bishop of Worcester, John Inge.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell said: “We are delighted that Bishop Viv and Bishop Andrew have accepted this invitation. Their combined experience will be a blessing to those who care for and uphold our places of worship as beacons of faith in our communities, and in their important civic, heritage and educational roles.”
“We also wish to take the opportunity to thank Bishop John Inge for all he contributed to this role.”
The Church of England has around 16,000 church buildings and 42 cathedrals of which more than 12,500 are listed. The lead bishops support those who care for these buildings by speaking on relevant national issues and engaging in dialogue with Government and partner organisations.
Bishop Viv was Dean of York prior to her appointment as Bishop of Bristol. She is a Church Commissioner and a member of the House of Lords.
She said: “I am delighted to be given this formal role in leading the Church of England’s thinking and planning as we continue to develop these glorious assets and support the outstanding work of the local communities who pay for them and pray in them.
“The experience of the last 18 months includes our buildings being closed, being used to feed and support the most vulnerable in our communities, and becoming more environmentally sustainable as well as monuments and artefacts being noticed and debated.”
Bishop Andrew, who is Bishop of Ramsbury in the Diocese of Salisbury, is also an author whose writing centres on themes of local & national identity. His last book, <em>Parish: an Anglican theology of place</em>, is published by SCM press.
Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I am honoured to share this new role with the Bishop of Bristol. Our church buildings are a priceless legacy, close to the nation’s soul. I look forward to championing their vital place in public worship and community renewal, and to working with church, government & heritage bodies to assure their future.”