Last Sunday we announced that the Revd Mike McGurk was to succeed Archdeacon Ricky
as the next Archdeacon of Liverpool. So we decided to take the opportunity to ask him a few questions about himself and his faith journey.
Why did you feel called to be Archdeacon of Liverpool?
The opportunity to serve the Lord and the people of an amazing city with a long history of making a difference in various areas of life was too good not to apply. Being a northern city was very important. You can't beat real northern people. I loved the vision of the diocese and felt God really challenge me to apply.
What are your first impressions of our diocese?
It's an exciting, forward thinking diocese who are trying to make necessary changes and make a very real difference to the parishes and people we are called to serve.
What are the first steps you will be taking?
Getting out and about meeting people, getting to know them and listening to what is already happening.
What are you looking forward to?
Learning from others and working alongside many incredible lay and ordained colleagues. Getting to know the city and its history.
What challenges do you anticipate?
It's a new role, in a new city so that is challenging in itself. It's also going to be tough following Archdeacon Ricky who has served the diocese and city so well for many years - not an easy act to follow.
What should our priorities be?
We need to make sure each one of us understand that we have a part to play in building a bigger church making a bigger difference, disregarding your role, age, educational ability, ethnic group or theological tradition. God can and will use each one us in every area of our daily life.
What will you miss about parish ministry?
The sense of belonging and sharing life with a group of people. Seeing the long term difference the Holy Spirit is making in people's lives and seeing how they grow and develop their giftings in a local church context.
What has been the highlight of your parish ministry so far?
Seeing people who many have discarded because of their past, growing in their relationship with God and being equipped to lead, preach and being everything that the Lord has called them to be.
Where has God been on your faith journey?
God is ever present - so often over the past 30+ years God has been so faithful and demonstrated how he can use the weak and foolish things of this world (me) to confound others.
How do you relax?
Spending time with Nicola and walking the dog. I also like shopping (don't say a word), eating out and I like real ale. I'm also sport mad - but that's not always relaxing!!
What is your favourite bible verse?
There are so many but - Isaiah 61 has always been very special to me. Knowing that the spirit of God anoints us to make a difference in very real areas of life is important but He also calls us to rebuild, renew and restore people and places devastated - anybody involved in urban, estate and parish ministry knows this is a very real need.
If you had to describe your ministry in a sentence what would it be?
To equip and release the saints for ministry. I'm passionate about getting the best out of others and seeing them flourish.