Dr John Preston, currently National Stewardship Officer for the Church of England has been appointed as the new Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Worcester. As Diocesan Secretary, John will act as the CEO of the Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd (WDBF) and will work closely with the Bishop of Worcester and the Chair of the WDBF to lead the mission and ministry of the Diocese in Worcestershire and Dudley as well as ensure its financial stability. John replaces Robert Higham, who is retiring after 19 years in the role.

Since 2005, John has served as the Church of England’s National Stewardship and Resources Officer, challenging Christians to consider how we might be generous with all that God has entrusted us with – our time, money, homes, talents etc. Prior to that, John’s background was in marketing - everything from sandwiches to soap-powder. He is a Lay Minister in his local church on the edge of Telford and also serves on the PCC.

John said: “I'm excited to be joining the Diocese of Worcester at this time of opportunity for the Church of England. It will be a privilege to work with the great team at the diocesan office and across the diocese to support and enable parishes in Worcestershire and Dudley to engage with their communities and continue on their journey to becoming Kingdom People. It is also an honour to be invited to follow Robert Higham, whose faithful service and depth of commitment are outstanding."

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge said: “John has a huge wealth of experience in both the church and the secular world. He has served the national church with great distinction for twelve years and we are immensely blessed that he feels called to serve here as Diocesan Secretary. His gifts and skills, underpinned by a deep faith, will be invaluable to us as he takes a leading role in enabling us to move forward in our Kingdom People vision.”

Chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance, Alastair Findlay, said: “Robert will be a hard act to follow as Diocesan Secretary, but I’m confident that in John we’ve got someone who has the knowledge and skills to lead the Diocesan Board of Finance into the future, helping to ensure that the Gospel is spread across the diocese as we continue to serve all our communities.”

Current Diocesan Secretary, Robert Higham, said: “I’m delighted that John has been appointed as my successor. He’s someone I know well as National Stewardship Officer and I’ve very much valued his focus on resourcing the Church in mission.”

John Preston has a degree in Operational Research from the University of Lancaster and a PhD in retail marketing, which is perhaps the UK’s only PhD with more time spent stacking supermarket shelves than in the library!He was brought up in the Church and in the 1990s became a Lay Reader when he co-led a new church planting team in the North East.He continues to serve in his local church, St John’s Muxton on the edge of Telford, and is married to Jane. They have two grown-up children.When he can, John enjoys travel, particularly seeing the church in different places in the world, and good food! He will begin working in the Diocese at the end of October. 


The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.

Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516
Email: ssetchell@cofe-worcester.org.uk