Mike Hill was born in Manchester in 1949 to entrepreneurial parents – his father’s background was American and his mother’s was German/Jewish. Mike has one sister, Amanda.
Football mad and a massive fan of Manchester United from his childhood, he attended Wilmslow County Grammar School. But Christian faith played no part in his youth: he had never attended church until the age of 18 when a friend took him to a Christian house party and decided to follow Christ. The local vicar was very surprised to see him when he turned up one Sunday saying he had become a Christian.
Mike gained a Diploma in Business Studies at North West Cheshire College of Further Education and went on to work as a junior executive in the printing industry. But following increasing promptings, he reluctantly went to Scargill Community for a year in the early 1970s following to test his call to ordained ministry in the Church of England. There he met Anthea, a nurse who had been living in Africa, who he married in 1973. He trained for ordination at Ridley Hall and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge from 1974.
In Cambridge, Mike and Anthea had their first child, Naomi, and over the next ten years, Charis, Nick, Alexa and Lella were born.
Mike first clergy job was as a curate in Addiscombe, Croydon. From there he went to Slough where he led a church on the Upton Lea estate that grew from single figures to over 100 in three years. In 1982, he took the family to St Leonards, Chesham Bois (Amersham, Bucks) where again the church grew to significantly under his leadership, this time to several hundred. During this time, he became inspired and influenced by the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and was the first President of the Willow Creek Association (UK). He also was Rural Dean of Amersham from 1989.
In 1992, Mike became Archdeacon of Berkshire and the family moved to Newbury. Subsequently, he was appointed Bishop of Buckingham in 1998. Anthea was again working in nursing, as a palliative care nurse.
Mike became the 55th Bishop of Bristol in 2003. In the three years since his consecration, he has committed himself to leading the Diocese into growth. His leadership has increased people’s expectation of what God can do through the church in the Diocese of Bristol. He is driven by a desire to “see heaven populated” and to help create the kinds of churches where the sort of people he used to hang out with might have a chance of finding Christ.
Mike is an inpirational speaker and has a significant teaching ministry in the UK and further afield. He has particular interests and expertise in leadership and, amongst other things, serves on the boards of businesses, as a governor of schools and on national church bodies.
Mike and Anthea now have a grand-daughter, Annabelle, daughter to Naomi and her husband, Ali. Mike continues to follow all manner of sport, to play guitar, listen to music and read widely. He is devoted to their dog, Bella, who he and Anthea take for long walks down in Somerset where they have a cottage. Mike and Anthea continue to impact many people’s lives through their commitment to others and their commitment to Christ.