Last week Bishop Paul licensed the Venerable John Day as interim minister at St Mary’s and St James West Derby and a mission consultant in our diocese. Here we find out more about him, his experience and vision for the future.
As we seek ways to engage with the burning platform challenges of our growth agenda, we continue to look for new leaders and fresh ideas. The licensing of John Day last week shows one way in which we can explore different models and ways of ministry. John will be with our diocese for up to 18 months.
As our news report last week showed, John brings plenty of experience from nearly 28 years of ordained ministry. He has worked in inner city Bradford, suburban Leeds and Christchurch, New Zealand. His most recent appointment was Archdeacon for Mission for Christchurch Diocese. In these very different places, John has encouraged congregations and colleagues to rise to the challenges faced by the church worshipping and witnessing in a changing society. In particular, the 14,000 earthquakes in Christchurch, have given the church a unique opportunity to rediscover what being the Body of Christ is truly about.
John is a mission-minded Anglo Catholic with experience of all the Anglican traditions. He will be working closely with the Archdeacons, Ricky and Peter, and will divide his time between a ministry in West Derby and a wider role as mission consultant in the diocese. John’s appointment is part of the jigsaw of leadership models that the diocese is developing as we seek to grow the kingdom of God in our area.
John said about the quakes, “They were a real wake up call. We had to rediscover the energy to engage with the wider community and remember that at its core church is a bunch of people. Many church buildings either collapsed or have been demolished and congregations are worshipping in halls and schools.” John is clear that the churches who have emerged stronger are those whose values reflect the Gospel. “They’re the ones”, says John, “who have reached out and provided wonderful pastoral care and support, hand-in-hand with an invitation to become disciples of Christ. All churches can become like that.”
John’s theology of a real balance between Word and Sacrament underpins his mission approach. He sees the Lord’s Supper at the heart of the life of the church: exploring the Scriptures together and breaking the bread. God’s call and command is to go and distribute the bread to the hungry, all those who are hungry for the love and life that comes from knowing Jesus.
John has been invited to use his experience in Liverpool Diocese to help parishes see how they can authentically serve their communities. He says that there are no silver bullets but believes we can work out how we can grow to be more effective people of God. “It is God who gives the growth in the power of the Holy Spirit”, he says: “We prayerfully listen and respond to God’s call.”
About Venerable John Day
Born in Scarborough in 1958 John trained as a solicitor before studying Theology in Hull and training for Ordination at Cranmer. Ordained in 1987 John served his curacy and first incumbency in Bradford before movin onto Leeds and then out to Christchurch.
John is married to Stephanie and they have four married children who are all active Anglicans.