Moorland Team

8 Dartmoor Churches working together as a Team

Announcement - Mark Rylands


18th March 2018

It is announced today that the Right Reverend Mark Rylands has been appointed Priest-in-Charge of the Ashburton & Moorland Team Ministry in the Diocese of Exeter.

Bishop Mark is presently the Area Bishop of Shrewsbury in the Diocese of Lichfield. Before moving to Shropshire in 2009, he served in this diocese for seven years as our Diocesan Missioner and as a Residentiary Canon of Exeter Cathedral, having previously been Team Rector of the Langport Area parishes in Somerset, and before that a curate and then incumbent in Cheshire.

Mark is married to the Reverend Prebendary Mandy Rylands, who during their time in Devon was the Exeter Diocesan Director of Ordinands, Bishop’s Adviser for Women in Ministry, and a Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. More recently, Mandy has served as Lichfield Diocesan Officer for Self-Supporting Ministry and in various deanery and parish roles.

Mark and Mandy have two adult children—Frances, who is presently doing postdoctoral research in Dublin and planning her wedding to Freddie at Buckfastleigh in the summer; and Sam, who is married to Lily and currently training for ordained ministry at Trinity College, Bristol.

Since leaving Devon, Mark and Mandy have retained a family home on the edge of Dartmoor. Having served as a Bishop for the past nine years, Mark has discerned a call back to parish life for this latest stage of his ministry, and he and Mandy look forward to their return to a part of the country which they know and love very well. Mark will be full-time Priest-in-Charge of the Ashburton & Moorland Parishes, and in addition the Bishop of Exeter has appointed him an honorary Assistant Bishop in the diocese; in that capacity he will be able to give occasional help to the bishops of the diocese in case of need. One of Mark’s abiding passions is cricket, and his return to Devon is good news for our diocesan cricket team!

Mark and Mandy will move to Ashburton Rectory during the summer. Subject to the completion of all legalities, Mark’s licensing by the Bishop of Exeter will take place on the evening of Tuesday, July 31st at a service in St Andrew’s, Ashburton to which all are invited.

Your prayers are asked for Mark, Mandy and their family as they prepare for this new chapter in their life and their ministries, and for the parishes of the Ashburton & Moorland Team as we look forward to their arrival among us.