New Archdeacon of Nottingham appointed

The Revd Canon Phil Williams has been appointed as the new Archdeacon of Nottingham.

Speaking at the announcement this morning in Nottingham city centre, Phil said: “I was delighted to accept Bishop Paul’s invitation to become the next Archdeacon of Nottingham.

“This diocese has been a special place of formation in my life; moving to Chilwell aged nine, developing as a young Christian and being confirmed at Christ Church, meeting my future wife, Jane, at Bluecoat School, and later serving as vicar at Lenton Abbey and then Porchester.

“It has been a privilege to work with churches across the whole diocese over the last 18 months as Associate Archdeacon for Transition Ministry and to see God at work. Thank you to all those who have shared in my journey and worked alongside me. I am excited about this new phase of ministry and the role that I can play to support and enable disciples of all ages to grow across the archdeaconry.”

Phil, who will take up his new appointment in July (date to be announced) replaces Sarah Clark after she was consecrated in York Minster to the Bishop of Jarrow in the Diocese of Durham.

With a population of 650,000 the archdeaconry covers the City of Nottingham and its conurbation as well as rural areas in the south of the Diocese. With a Christian presence in every community the role of the archdeacon is to support clergy and lay leaders in helping to develop and implement sustainable plans for mission and growth. This is aligned to an ambitious set of diocesan strategic aspirations for Growing Disciples, which is already bearing fruit in new ways as well as enhancing ongoing ministry in parishes.

Bishop Paul said: “I am thrilled that a thorough and prayerful discernment process has resulted in the appointment of someone who combines considerable parish experience with a hopeful vision for the mission of the Church and its place in a healthy society where all can flourish.

“Phil Williams is already well-known to the diocese and familiar with the many opportunities and challenges before us in the diverse communities and contexts where the church is seeking to make a difference. He brings many gifts to this new role, including as a gifted bible teacher and caring pastor, he is also skilled in managing change and leading in more complex organisational settings.

“Over the past two years Phil has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the diocese serving as Associate Archdeacon for Transition Ministry, engaging in contexts where more significant change can create fresh opportunities for mission. I am delighted that during the first season of his appointment as Archdeacon of Nottingham, Phil will continue to take responsibility for overseeing this work across the diocese, developing a small team to support transitions that specifically enable new forms of ministry and mission.”

Prior to being Associate Archdeacon for Transition Ministry, Phil was the Vicar of St James, Porchester from 2002-2017 and Area Dean for Gedling. He was previously Priest in Charge at St Barnabas Lenton Abbey and for some time Chair of the House of Clergy in Diocesan Synod. He became an Honorary Canon of Southwell Minister in 2011.

Shortly before today’s announcement, Phil spent time with representatives of groups and organisations that are engaged in serving people in the Nottingham conurbation. He is pictured above with, from left: Street Pastor Andy Harris; Lead Workplace Chaplain Jo Tatum; Bishop Paul Williams; Rebecca Meredith, CEO of the Transform Trust, which has 16 member schools; Lauren Simpson, Assistant Development Officer at Transforming Notts Together.

Historical Note:

The Archdeacon of Nottingham is one of the most ancient offices in the county, having existed since the 1100s when the county was within the Archdiocese of York. The Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham was founded in 1884, having from that time its own diocesan bishop and cathedral in Southwell Minster. From 1912 the diocese incorporated a new archdeaconry of Newark, with a division of responsibility between those parishes in the north and south of the diocese. While retaining special jurisdiction within the archdeaconries of Nottingham and Newark, today both archdeacons serve the interest and mission of the whole diocese as part of the Bishop’s Senior Team.