Pope Francis has nominated Troon Parish Priest, Fr. Martin Chambers as the new Bishop of Dunkeld. He will succeed Bishop Stephen Robson who retired in 2022 on health grounds.
Archbishop Nolan, who knew the new Bishop-elect while serving as his Bishop in Galloway said he was delighted at the news. "Good news for the Diocese of Dunkeld today with the appointment of Fr Martin Chambers as their new bishop. They will benefit from his enthusiasm, his pastoral sensitivity and indeed his humour! There will be mixed feelings though in Galloway Diocese since the loss of a priest of his calibre will be sorely felt. The Church in Scotland though can rejoice in this appointment since Pope Francis has chosen well."
Reacting to his appointment, Fr. Martin said: “One of the catchphrases of Pope Francis is that, as Christians, we are called to be ‘Missionary Disciples’. The Pope reminds us that, yes, we are all called to take our part in the mission of spreading the Good News in our families and within our local community. However, the Pope reminds us that, first of all, we must sit as disciples at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him and letting Him guide our steps.”
“As I set out on this new mission as Bishop of Dunkeld, I pledge to sit in prayer as a Disciple at the feet of Jesus, listening to his voice calling me forward in faith. Together, with Christ’s strength and inspiration, we will all be able to continue to build the Kingdom in the Diocese of Dunkeld.”
Fr. Martin added: “I am also conscious that many years ago, I was accepted into seminary by Bishop Joseph McGee. He was the Bishop of Galloway who had started off as a priest of Dunkeld Diocese. In a strange way, I am returning a compliment in faith for, having started as a priest of Galloway, I am now becoming Bishop of Dunkeld.”
Responding to the news, Dunkeld's Diocesan Administrator Fr. Kevin Golden said: “The whole community of the Diocese of Dunkeld will rejoice with me today at the appointment of Father Martin Chambers as our new Bishop. We assure him of a warm welcome as he comes among us and offer him our prayers and a steadfast commitment to working with him as he shepherds our Diocese into the future, inspired by the vision of our Holy Father Pope Francis. We renew our appreciation of the sterling work of our Bishop Emeritus, Stephen Robson.”
Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Bishop Robson said:
“I have known Fr Martin for many years since he was in the Sixth Form of Blairs College in 1981. Since then, I have followed with great admiration his journey in the priesthood thus far. He was educated in the Royal Scots College in Spain, and he has had great experience in Ecuador as a missionary priest. Various appointments as pastor, school chaplain and diocesan responsibilities in Galloway diocese then followed. All this previous experience will stand him in great stead going forward as bishop here in Dunkeld.
"Personally I am delighted for Martin, and I know that the people, priests and religious of the diocese will welcome him with open arms.”
The new bishop-elect was born in Glasgow and baptised at St Paul’s, Shettleston.
He trained for the priesthood at St. Vincent’s College, Langbank, St Mary’s College, Blairs Senior Seminary: Royal Scots College, Valladolid (1982-1988) & Salamanca (1988-1989)
Ordained Priest for the Diocese of Galloway: 25th August 1989
He served with the Missionary Society of St James in Ecuador (2004-2009) and is currently Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Assumption & St Meddan’s, Troon.
No date has yet been set for his episcopal ordination.