Bishop Paul collated our 3 new Archdeacons at a special service on Saturday at Liverpool Cathedral.
The Archdeacons, the Venerables Jennifer McKenzie, Pete Spiers, Roger Preece each become Archdeacons of three new areas. They join the Archdeacon of Liverpool, The Venerable Ricky Panter as part of the senior clergy team in the diocese of Liverpool.
The desire to create our four archdeaconry areas comes from our longstanding growth agenda. The impetus came from Bishop Paul’s paper on Fit for Mission which was endorsed by Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council in 2014. Our aim, as we get fit for mission, is to create a structure of support with Archdeacons having smaller areas to relate to giving them more ability to offer practical support to parishes. These four areas, which correspond approximately to local authority areas are:
• Archdeaconry of Liverpool - Archdeacon Ricky Panter
• Archdeaconry of Knowsley and Sefton - Archdeacon Pete Spiers
• Archdeaconry of St Helens and Warrington – Archdeacon Roger Preece
• Archdeaconry of Wigan and West Lancashire – Archdeacon Jennifer McKenzie
Bishop Paul said "leadership is of utmost importance and equipping and empowering our leaders is one of the most important acts I can offer as Bishop. Saturday's appointment of our new Archdeacons is a great step forward for our diocese as we seek to be fit for mission. I thank God for Jennifer, Roger, Pete as they join Ricky in forming a new team under Bishop Richard’s guidance to support parishes and deaneries. I pray that through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit they in turn will equip and empower our parishes to focus on becoming bigger churches making a bigger difference"
Let’s hear from our new Archdeacons
Ven Jennifer McKenzie said “Engaging in the mission of God is an exciting and fulfilling way of being in the world. Joining a diocese that is so intentionally seeking to discern God's mission in this place, at this time, and to become a 'Bigger Church to make a Bigger Difference' is truly energising. I'm also very encouraged by the tremendous effort placed on building strong relationships at every area of the church and know that we will go from strength to strength in the Diocese of Liverpool. I especially am anxious to meet and get to know the parishioners, clergy and lay leaders, and the communities which comprise our Archdeaconry of Wigan and West Lancs so that I can be of service and support as they, on the front lines of mission, reach beyond the four walls of the church and actually make that bigger difference!
Venerable Roger Preece said “I am really looking forward to starting the new role. So far I have met just a few of the clergy, visited some towns in my area and started learning about the Diocese of Liverpool’s strategy. There is so much going on and so much to discover. Everyone I have met has been very welcoming and kind. I want to do all I can to serve the parishes and help them flourish in their local communities. I will need lots of help and advice and am sure it will be available.”
Venerable Pete Spiers said “I start my new role as Archdeacon of Knowsley and Sefton with a great sense that God has called me. I will be sad leaving St. Luke’s, Great Crosby after 10 fruitful years when we have achieved so much together. There will be a lot to learn over the next few weeks but I am really looking forward to the challenge of helping churches to grow and discovering what God is doing across the Archdeaconry and Diocese.”
Archdeacon Ricky Panter said “I’m a firm believer that change does you good! So the prospect of having the opportunity to do things differently, and hopefully better, during the remaining time that I have is really very exciting. To have these excellent new colleagues bringing fresh ideas and energy to the task of supporting parishes in their mission can only be good. And I’m particularly pleased that the overwhelming support for this initiative throughout the diocese means that they can start off as the real thing – thanks to our pastoral team for all their work to make it happen.
Picture from l to r Ven Pete Spiers; Ven Jennifer McKenzie; Bishop Paul Bayes; Bishop Richard Blackburn; Ven Roger Preece; Ven Ricky Panter