Michael Humphrey Dickens Whinney (8 July 1930 – 3 February 2017) was a Church of England bishop who served in two episcopal posts; he was also a great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens.[1]

He was born in Chelsea, London on 8 July 1930 and educated at Charterhouse School and Pembroke College, Cambridge (he became a Cambridge Master of Arts {MA(Cantab)}); he later gained a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) degree from General Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1957 after an earlier career as an accountant.[2] His first ministry position was as a curate at Rainham after which he held two posts in Bermondsey, firstly as priest in charge of the Cambridge University Mission Settlement and later as the vicar of St James' with Christ Church.[3] He became the Archdeacon of Southwark before being ordained to the episcopate in 1982 as the Bishop of Aston. After three years he was translated to be the Bishop of Southwell where he remained until 1988.[4] Taking temporary early retirement from Southwell with an injury in early 1988, he returned to Birmingham for a sabbatical year. In February 1989 (aged 59 and long before retirement age), he was invited to become an Assistant Bishop of Birmingham and Canon of the Cathedral.[5] In retirement he continued to serve as an honorary assistant bishop in Birmingham.

He died on 3 February 2017 at the age of 86.[6]


  1. ^ New bishop is Dickens descendant The Times Wednesday, Jan 13, 1982; pg. 10; Issue 61130; col D
  2. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  3. ^ "St James with Christ Church & St Crispin". The Diocese of Southwark. Archived from the original on 30 October 2004. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  4. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 2008/2009 Lambeth, Church House Publishing ISBN 978-0-7151-1030-0
  5. ^ Squires, Steve (30 May 2014). "Rainbows through the Rain: Bishop Michael's new book". The Church of England. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Whinney". Telegraph. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Aston
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Southwell
Succeeded by