Sunday, September 22, 2013


I am delighted to be able to announce that (subject to the usual checks) I have been appointed Minster Priest of Sunderland Minster, in Durham Diocese.

Details to be worked out, but we are hoping to move before Advent.

The Minster was a parish church for hundreds of years. But when Sunderland gained city status in the 1990s, the church was re-designated a Minster and an Extra-Parochial Place (that is, outside of the parish system) in order to respond to the changing needs and opportunities within the city centre and wider civic context. It is a bit like a cross between a small cathedral and a parish church – with the Minster Priest being a bit like a cross between a resident canon and a team vicar; on the team of the Canon Provost, who is a bit like a cross between a cathedral dean and a team rector. (If you aren’t fluent in Church of England, ignore that last sentence. If you are fluent, or thought you were, let it mess with your head awhile.)

I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness in opening up this new adventure. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to:

A place that works with the structures of the Church, while pioneering within and beyond them.

A context where committed engagement with the ‘now’ (what is; and, Who is) is fed by an incredibly rich Christian heritage (what was; and, Who was) and by resurrection hope (what is to come; and, Who is to come). In other words, resonance with something bigger than my moment in history is not sacrificed for relevance to my moment in history – or vice versa.

Team. Being part of a collaborative team. Clergy team of four (two women, two men), as part of a wider team at the Minster, and working closely with others including a Lutheran pastor. And it is a young team: the Canon Provost and the University Chaplain (and the Lutheran colleague) have been there twelve months; the Curate since July; and the new Minster Priest (me) was announced today. That is exciting.

The North East gets more sunshine than the North West. That makes all the difference.

Having an up-front discipleship remit.


  1. I have no idea what all those roles are, but very happy for you! Hamo

  2. Neither do I, mate! At least you have the excuse of being an Aussie and a Baptist :-)