HARLEY Davidson motorcycles and bishops might be an unusual combination.

But Hereford’s new bishop, announced today as Richard Jackson, currently Suffragan Bishop of Lewes in East Sussex, is known for his passion for motorbiking.

Often seen astride his 1.4L Harley Davidson, the ‘biking bishop’ will take up his role as 106th Bishop of Hereford in the New Year.

Bishop Richard, a 58-year-old father of three, grew up in a non-Christian family in Uxbridge finding his faith at the age of 17.

“You could say I was a reluctant convert. I was dragged into the church by my sister,” he said.

“But at the youth group, I first encountered Christians living out their faith in a practical way. I know exactly the moment I gave my life to God - it was 10.28am on November 4, 1978, while washing my granny’s car.”

He went on to study and work in agriculture before feeling the call to ordination while at a Christian summer conference.

After studying to become a vicar at Bristol’s Trinity College, he served in various roles in the south of England.

But despite his London upbringing, Bishop Richard has close links to Herefordshire.

“I am immensely humbled to have been chosen to become the next Bishop of Hereford,” he said.

“This beautiful diocese is in my DNA. I’ve traced my family tree and if I took a journey visiting churches from Leominster to the Welsh Border, I would be able to see the graves of my ancestors dating back to the 13th Century.

“I hope I can energise people to consider that the Christian life with all its joy, peace and purpose is for everyone. I would like to think I could help, support and inspire people to follow Christ in their daily lives,” he said.