A new Archdeacon of Hackney
A host of friends from the Stepney Area and other parts of the Diocese were present on Monday June 15th in St Mary le Bow to witness the Confirmation of Archdeacon Rachel’s election to the See of Gloucester. This agreeably sesquipedalian legal ceremony of “Confirmation” is the actual moment when a bishop elect becomes the Bishop of the Diocese. Rachel’s consecration is on July 22nd in Canterbury Cathedral and I know that there will be a large attendance from London witnessing to the respect and love which Rachel has earned during her many years in a variety of parochial and archidiaconal posts. She will be very much missed but I hope that her move to Gloucester will strengthen the partnership between our two dioceses.
After consultation with the Bishop of Stepney and encouraged by him I have invited the Reverend Liz Adekunle, Chaplain of St John’s College Cambridge, to succeed Rachel as Archdeacon of Hackney.
Many of you will know Liz already from her time in the Stepney Area as curate and then priest in charge of St Luke’s Hackney. She is a Londoner, born on our side of the river, and read theology at Birmingham University. She has two Masters degrees; the first at SOAS in African Christianity and Development and the second, completed while she was in training at Ridley Hall Cambridge, in Pastoral Care and Counselling. She is esteemed as a former Chaplain and tutor at St Mellitus College. She is also a member of the Archbishops’ Task Group on Evangelism.
It is possible that she does not match the stereotype of an Archdeacon, delightfully exemplified in the TV series “Rev.”, but as a hugely gifted priest I am confident that Liz will make a significant contribution to policy formation and the life of the Diocese and Area as a whole. Every church should be a learning community and our Diocese is blessed with a diverse and talented leadership both clerical and lay. Liz will be supported both by the experienced Stepney Area Deans and by archidiaconal colleagues in other Areas. I very much look forward to working with her.
Although I hope that she will be involved in the various forward planning meetings during the autumn she will not be free to take up her duties until Easter of next year. She is honouring a commitment to deputise for the Dean of St John’s College during his Sabbatical and this will obviously be another significant learning experience.
I shall keep you up to date with plans for her inauguration as they become available but meanwhile I am very grateful to the Bishop of Stepney for his support and the Area Deans for their willingness to continue discharging a range of archidiaconal functions during the vacancy.