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New Archdeacon for Suffolk to help growth of churches

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:00 19 January 2020

The Ry Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, with the Rev Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, at St Michael's Church, Framlingham Picture:  KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

The Ry Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, with the Rev Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, at St Michael's Church, Framlingham Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

copyright keith mindham photography

A priest with 25 years' experience has been chosen for a key leadership role within the Church of England in Suffolk, to support hundreds of churches, clergy and help congregations to flourish.

The Ry Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, with the Rev Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, pictured in front of the congregation after she was collated at St Michael's Church, Framlingham Picture:  KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHYThe Ry Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, with the Rev Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, pictured in front of the congregation after she was collated at St Michael's Church, Framlingham Picture: KEITH MINDHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Rev Jeanette Gosney, who will continue to live in Ipswich, started her ministry in 1995 in the town and will be the next Archdeacon of Suffolk.

The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: ''I am thrilled that Jeanette is to be the next Archdeacon of Suffolk in succession to the late Archdeacon Ian Morgan.

"The Archdeacon of Suffolk is responsible for supporting clergy and parishes in the eastern part of the county, outside of Ipswich, and Jeanette knows this area well having served as acting Archdeacon during Ian Morgan's illness.

"She brings to this role strong pastoral gifts, a commitment to the mission of the local church, and a readiness to help churches seize opportunities and develop creative solutions as they seek to grow in faith and service. She is an outstanding addition to the leadership team of the Diocese.''

Rev Gosney said: ''I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been appointed Archdeacon of Suffolk.

"People say that being an archdeacon is all about buildings. That is true in part, and our church buildings are a key resource, but for me it's primarily about people.

''During the last few months as acting Archdeacon I have seen so many parishes longing to grow and with lots of ideas. I want to encourage and support them to help their vision become reality.

''That will mean creative thinking about how ministry is exercised, building teams of lay and ordained people. I want too to be able to offer support to clergy so that they can thrive, and to work with benefices to make good appointments.''

She has served as Bishop's Ministry Officer since May 2017 and prior to that was Parish Development Officer in the Diocese of St Albans, after periods as parish priest, theological college tutor and university chaplain.

She was ordained in this diocese in 1995 and was curate at St Margaret's Ipswich.

The Rt Rev Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, said: "The new Archdeacon of Suffolk will play a key role across the hundreds of churches in the east of the county.

"She will support clergy and their well-being, working imaginatively with Christian congregations on outreach, service and witness locally, as well as resourcing communities as they look to maintain and enhance their buildings.''

The Ven Ian Morgan died aged 62 on October 3 in Ipswich Hospital after a long period of illness. He had been Archdeacon since 2012 and, prior to that, he had spent many years in parish ministry in Ipswich and was a presenter on BBC Radio Suffolk.

Rev Gosney was collated as Archdeacon on Saturday, January 18 at St Michael's Framlingham, and will be installed at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds on Candlemas, Sunday. February 2 at 3.30pm.

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