The North Meols Deanery is to welcome Rev Canon Philip Green as its new Area Dean.
Phil, who was a National Health Service Estates Officer for twenty years, was ordained fifteen years ago.
He began his church career at Emmanuel Southport and then moved to St John’s Southport, where he worked closely with colleague Peter Todd to help create the North Meols Team Ministry of which he became Team Rector five years ago.
Phil replaces the late Canon Colin Pope in the role of Area Dean, and the two worked closely over the years – Phil was Colin’s first Curate at Southport Emmanuel.
“Colin and I had a great working relationship,” says Phil. “I had come from twenty years in management, and Colin had never had a Curate before, so it was a learning curve for us both. However, we became great friends and often joked about who was the boss. Colin was a great man, and I hope to build on some of the excellent work he did in North Meols as Area Dean.”
Phil has a clear vision of togetherness for churches in the North Meols area, “As a Deanery, it is important that we continue to promote cohesion between churches, making them interdependent and outward looking to each other. Parishes now, more than ever, have to work together and develop even further a Deanery focus. If we can manage our resources and worship together, we can ultimately be more effective in supporting our community.”
He also added, “I also think it is vitally important to maintain the principle of Word and Sacrament being available to all. This is key because Christianity has a rightful place in all our lives. People are always busy, with very little leisure time, so we as churches need to be available as and when we are needed. We have to let people know the variety of church services available to them and where they are being held. In this way people can choose not only where and when they worship but they can also choose the style that suits them. The Church of England is a broad church and we have lots to offer the people of Southport.”
Phil also has plans to further cement the relationships between schools in the North Meols area and their local churches. As governor of two local schools, he is passionate about emphasising the importance of mutual relationships, and is looking to roll out a special project between churches and schools this Easter.
“As a Deanery we are currently looking at rolling out a programme between parishes and schools that has so far only been done in Cathedrals. It helps children explore the meaning of Easter, and we are looking to pilot it in some North Meols schools this Easter, with a view to making it an area-wide initiative. By continuing to build up relationships with schools, we will further our mission, help grow the church and show young people that the church is here to support them.”
As well as developing relationships within the Church of England, Phil is also looking at developing relationships with other Christian denominations. He says, “In the future I think it is important for us to look at developing ecumenical relationships – that is, with churches of different traditions. In doing this we can ensure that the resources of all the churches are fully utilised. We may have different traditions and sometimes a different emphasis from one church to another but principally we are a Christian community and should always be seen to be working together.”