One of the more extraordinary people in our diocese is our Archdeacon, Christine Froude. It is impossible to imagine anyone getting through more work than Christine manages to complete, month in and month out, with incredible good humour. She sits on a vast number of committees and contributes to them all. She has particular responsibility both for church buildings and the welfare of clergy and their families. It is a varied brief. The Archdeacon is often the first person clergy turn to when we have a problem. Despite her busyness, she found time to spend an evening with our PCC. And all this when she is approaching 70! However, once our new Bishop is in place, Christine will finally step down and enjoy a well earned retirement.
The diocese has recognised that the job that she has been doing single-handed requires two people to do it – especially as we currently have only one bishop.
However, it is important that the new Bishop is able to choose his or her own Archdeacons. Therefore, a temporary Archdeacon has been selected to work alongside Christine. That will be the recently retired Canon Michael Johnson, ex-vicar of Wroughton. Michael has a wealth of experience, and we will be delighted to see him back in this temporary post. He is calling it his “gap year role”. Michael will stand down after a year or so, and, around that point, two permanent archdeacons will be appointed.