New Archdeacon for Rural Mission Announced

A priest with a successful track record of engaging with rural communities will be helping tackle rural isolation and encouraging more people to become involved with the Christian faith in new and innovative ways, as she joins a team of senior clergy in Suffolk.

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, has appointed, with the support of national Church funding, the Revd Canon Sally Gaze to be the new Archdeacon for Rural Mission.

Bishop Martin said:Sally has been working with us to strengthen and develop church life in our rural communities and I am delighted that she is now taking on this expanded responsibility. She brings her rich experience of growing rural churches and has a significant national profile for pioneering creative approaches to rural mission and ministry.

Sally said: “It means an immense amount to be chosen for this new post. My passion has been rural mission for many years, so this new and innovative role feels like the fulfilment of a dream. The role is simply about helping people to experience God’s love in rural Suffolk in all sorts of ways from creative worship to combatting isolation. This is not something I’ll be doing on my own though, I will be part of a gifted team.”

Before she was appointed Dean for Rural Mission Consultancy in the Diocese in 2017, Sally had been Team Rector in the Tas Valley Team Ministry in Norfolk, Fresh Expressions Facilitator and Hon. Canon of Norwich Cathedral.

Sally will be made a Residentiary Canon of St Edmundsbury Cathedral on 10 February 2019 but will continue to live and work in a rural Suffolk location.

Her appointment has been welcomed by the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, who said: “Sally has a proven track record of rural community engagement and of growing various kinds of worshipping communities which reach people who want to explore the spiritual side of their lives and Christian faith.”

Sally, 49, is married to Chris and they have a son Matthew, 19, and Katie, nine.