In the run-up to my departure, many of my former parishioners asked me, ‘so what does an archdeacon actually do?’
I would rather feebly reply that I wasn’t quite sure but would let them know once I’d started.
My hope is that, on the one hand, I will be able to assist the bishops in their work across the Diocese of Chichester. For sure I will doing everything I can to support parishes and other institutions working in local communities.
When people ask me why the Christian faith is important to me I usually respond along these lines: it is that the God whom Jesus and the Spirit reveal to us is the True, the Good and the Beautiful.
My hope is that, within my work as the new archdeacon in the Diocese I will be able to convey something of this truth, beauty and goodness.
‘For archdeacons,’ wrote the twelfth century philosopher, John of Salisbury, ‘the whole way of salvation is utterly barred’. Although his words inspire some trepidation, I am very much looking forward to taking up my new role as Archdeacon of Hastings.
The collation and licensing of Edward Dowley as Archdeacon of Hastings will take place in Rye Parish Church on Sunday 18 September at 5.00pm in the context of Evensong, at which the Cathedral Choir will be singing.
His instillation as a canon of Chichester Cathedral will take place at the Cathedral on Tuesday 20 September at 5.30pm.
Alex and Liz Wood, who had served three years at St Peter’s Church, Brighton, have relocated with a team of volunteers to plant a new church in Portsmouth city centre. At the invitation of Bishop Christopher Foster, they will look to develop a city centre “Resourcing Church”.
The church will aim to reach Portsmouth’s non-churchgoing and former-churchgoing residents - particularly the “missing generations” of students and young adults - and play its part in the re-evangelism of Portsmouth and the transformation of its society.
Churches in the Heathfield District are organising a sponsored ride or walk for Christian aid along the Cuckoo trail on Saturday 17th September. More information is available from the local churches.