Exciting times lie ahead for Monmouth Diocese, with the introduction of the Reverend Canon Sue Pinnington MBE as Archdeacon of the Gwent Valleys and Diocesan Director of Mission.
Canon Sue joins us from the Diocese of Durham and brings with her a wealth of experience perfectly suited to take on the challenge of the newly created position.
Not at all daunted by ‘leading the way’, Sue, jokes: “My current parish has had a named Rector since 1131 – but I became the first woman Rector in 2008! As parish priests every role is new to us at the beginning.”
Currently Rector of the large parish of Houghton-le-Spring, Sue is excited by the combined role and is looking forward to using her extensive skills and experience to help more people encounter the love of God.
She explains: “If someone had said to me six months ago that I would be moving to South Wales to become an archdeacon I would not have believed them! But God calls us to serve and that’s the joy and challenge of ministry.”
But with her work with communities in the Durham Coalfields and in post-industrial Bradford, she can see parallels with the work that needs to be done in the Gwent Valleys and describes it “as feeling very much like home”.
Sue explains: “Mission needs to be shaped around these communities and it starts by listening well and building good relationships. I know I have a lot to learn, but I feel empowered by the Holy Spirit and excited about the challenges ahead.”
Sue has already held several senior positions within the Church of England and was awarded a MBE in 2010 for her work in leading a multi-million pound community project at Cottingley, West Yorkshire.
Bishop Richard, Bishop of Monmouth Diocese, says: “I am delighted to welcome Sue to the Diocese. This is a bold new venture for Monmouth as we create a new archdeaconry to focus on the mission and pastoral needs of the Gwent Valleys. I promised investment and I think Sue, with her skills and generous spirit will lead the way and help us secure necessary funding for projects to support the church and community. All the Bishop’s Staff are looking forward to working with Sue.”
It is hoped that Canon Pinnington will take up her new post at the start of July.