It was announced on Wednesday 11 July that the Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Jackie Searle, Archdeacon of Gloucester, as the suffragan Bishop of Crediton in the Diocese of Exeter. Whilst this news is bittersweet for the Diocese of Gloucester, it is wonderful news for the Diocese of Exeter and for the Church. I know that today will be one of much rejoicing.
Jackie is currently on a planned sabbatical until August, although she and David will be spending today in the Diocese of Exeter as she is formally announced and meets people there.
Jackie came to the Diocese in 2012 and over the past six years many people have appreciated and benefitted from her pastoral care, wisdom, practical advice and support, theological reflection and teaching, always rooted in her deep commitment to Jesus Christ. Thus, in our sadness at saying farewell there is much thanksgiving for Jackie and all she has enabled and supported.
Jackie’s consecration will take place at Southwark Cathedral in London on September 27th and there will be more information in due course.
There will be a leaving service in Gloucester Cathedral on September 4th at 7pm when as a diocese we will be able to officially thank Jackie and bid her farewell. All are welcome.
For now, I know you will want to join me in praying for Jackie and her husband David Runcorn in this time of transition. David will continue his ministry here in the Diocese of Gloucester until the end of the year.
This comes with my thanks and prayers for our life together as we continue to discover and share yet more of life in all its fullness as offered us in Jesus Christ.
ArchdeaconJackie said of her appointment. “My six years in the Diocese of Gloucester have been significant – and to the people of the diocese and particularly Gloucester Archdeaconry I want to say thank you for all we have shared in the service of Christ. It has been a pleasure to serve the communities of this diverse Archdeaconry and I will leave with gratitude for the immense love, faithfulness and commitment that I have encountered time and again in our churches, schools, chaplaincies and communities. I will miss great colleagues here, a superb diocesan and cathedral team, and the many leaders, lay and ordained, with whom I have worked.”
The Dean, the Very Reverend Stephen Lake said, “We shall miss Archdeacon Jackie sharing in the life of Gloucester Cathedral as a Residentiary Canon, but we are also delighted that her gifts can be shared as a Bishop in the Diocese of Exeter.”
The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Revd Robert Atwell looks forward to welcoming Jackie to Exeter diocese in the autumn, he said. “Jackie is a person of wide sympathies with a deep love of Christ. She has been a Training Partner with Bridge Builders for several years, specialising in conflict transformation, and will bring to her new role the same mixture of compassion, integrity and professionalism that has characterised all her work. She understands the challenges and opportunities of rural ministry well and will enrich the life of the church in Devon in all sorts of ways.’