A clergyman with a track record in supporting families in need and communities throughout the pandemic and cost of living crisis has been appointed to one of the most senior roles within the Church of England in Suffolk.
Bishop Martin has appointed the Revd Canon Rich Henderson to be the new Archdeacon for Suffolk. He is currently Rector of Beccles with Worlingham, North Cove and Barnby, as well as Rural Dean of Waveney and Blyth.
The Revd Canon Henderson, who has been in the diocese for 17 years, was one of the first supporters of food banks and he is an honorary canon at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
He said: ‘‘I’m thrilled to be appointed and looking forward to working with the clergy, churchwardens, and people across the archdeaconry. I’m passionate about enabling parishes to grow and I’m looking forward to getting to know people right across the archdeaconry. Beccles has within its DNA service to the community. Throughout the pandemic and the cost of living crisis we have done a huge amount together, including pop-up foodbank shops, uniform banks, providing food to families in the school holidays, practical help for the community we serve. I will really miss the people in the community who I served with in Beccles, they are amazing and so committed.’’
Tich has served in Beccles for seven years in his current role, and previously three years as curate too. He will be installed to his new role as an Archdeacon in a ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday 14 May.
Bishop Martin said: ‘‘I am absolutely delighted that Rich has agreed to serve as Archdeacon of Suffolk. Rich’s appointment is the result of an extensive national search for someone to succeed the Venerable Jeanette Gosney who has served in this role for the past four years with immense care and skill. Rich is a very gifted priest who is held in high regard by clergy and laity across Suffolk. I am looking forward to working closely with him as we serve together the churches and people of the eastern half of the county.”
Archdeacons are key members of the Bishop’s senior staff responsible for supporting parishes and clergy and furthering church mission, reporting directly to the Bishop.
There are three archdeacons in the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese and the Archdeacon of Suffolk is a role that dates back to 1119 AD.
A service of farewell and thanksgiving will be held for Archdeacon Jeanette Gosney on Sunday 23 April at 3.00pm at St Michael’s Church, Framlingham.