Experienced priest to help people of Ipswich explore Christian faith
- Credit: Photo: Philip King
A priest who brings huge experience helping churches to grow and reach out to children, young people and families has been chosen to become one of the most senior clergy in Suffolk.
The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, has appointed the Revd Rhiannon King to be the new Archdeacon of Ipswich.
Rhiannon, 46 is currently Director of Mission for the Church of England in Birmingham and hopes to move to Suffolk by Easter.
Bishop Martin said: “I am thrilled that Rhiannon is to serve with us as Archdeacon of Ipswich. She brings huge experience from Birmingham growing, strengthening and starting new churches, helping them to reach out to their communities.
“I know she will bring inspiration and enthusiasm as we work together to serve the people of Ipswich.”
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Rhiannon will be directing Inspiring Ipswich, a project that aims to reach 10% of the population through church-led community engagement by the end of 2024 and provide new opportunities to explore Christian faith throughout that time and beyond. This will be alongside the usual responsibilities that archdeacons hold.
Rhiannon said: “I am thrilled to be joining the team in Ipswich. I’ve met lots of fabulous people already and am very much looking forward to working with everyone.
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“I’ve loved East Anglia for a long time, having ministered in and around Cambridgeshire for 15 years, so it’s great to be exploring a new part of it, with what will become my new extended Church family.
“After being in central Birmingham for the last eight years it will certainly feel different, but I love a change.
“My role is not to tell others what to do or to be always standing at the front of things, but rather to enable all God’s people to follow God’s call on their lives and to help the churches to reach out to people within their communities.
“Like everyone, I’m good at some things and less good at others, but together we can do so much more than we can on our own. I’m really looking forward to this amazing opportunity.
“An archdeacon is a chief servant and that’s what I want to do, to serve in the best way I can.”
Rhiannon was ordained a deacon in 2000 and a priest in 2001 in Ely Cathedral and went on to be a curate in the nearby market town of Huntingdon. She then served as Rector of Fulbourn and the Wilbrahams, just outside Cambridge, for almost seven years before moving to Birmingham.
Rhiannon, whose husband Philip is a scientist and photographer, loved her time as Director of Mission where she was involved in numerous exciting initiatives, including helping the Church of England in Birmingham to ‘grow younger’ (one of the goals of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich too), developing a Mission Apprentice scheme and helping the diocese to open new churches.