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New Archdeacon of the Meon appointed
BISHOP Jonathan has appointed Canon Kathryn Percival to be the new Archdeacon of the Meon.
Kathryn, who is currently Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean of Portsmouth Cathedral, will become part of the bishop’s senior staff team, serving and enabling the ministry of parishes in the Bishop’s Waltham, Gosport, Fareham and Petersfield deaneries.
She will work alongside the two other Archdeacons in our diocese – the Ven Jenny Rowley as Archdeacon of Portsdown, who supports parishes in Portsmouth and Havant, and the Ven Steve Daughtery as Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight.
It will also allow Canon Will Hughes, vicar of Petersfield and Buriton, to return to purely parish ministry after serving as acting Archdeacon of the Meon for two years.
Kathryn is married to James, who is a Royal Navy Chaplain, and the couple have two grown-up children, Dominic and Eliza. She originally trained to be a barrister and worked in civil litigation, putting her career on hold to have children and volunteering in various roles in Southwark Diocese.
Watch Kathryn introduce herself in the video below:
Kathryn trained at Ripon College Cuddesdon near Oxford, was ordained in 2010 and ministered in suburban London, and then in semi-rural parishes in East Surrey before coming to our Cathedral in 2019. As Canon Chancellor, her role has involved liaising with community, civic and interfaith colleagues, and overseeing education, visual art, the work of volunteers, and safeguarding, as well as launching a café-style morning service, #PompeySundays.
She says: “I think the Archdeacon’s role is actually to take some of the strain away from parishes, and allow them to experience the joy of doing what they are good at. It’s about coming alongside them, praying with them, encouraging them, and helping to enable them to realise their visions for the present and future.
“It’s an exciting time to be taking on this role, as our diocese implements a vision in which the priorities are children and young people, older people’s ministry and creating spaces where people of all ages and backgrounds feel welcome.
“The demography, churchmanship and geography of the archdeaconry is very diverse, from rural Hampshire villages, to the tightly-knit urban households in Gosport, to the suburban areas between Fareham and Southampton.
“I have an eclectic church background, coming from a non-church family, originally joining a Baptist church, and nearly becoming a Roman Catholic. I’ve also served in small, rural villages and in suburban London, and have been area dean for a deanery of 36 churches across a range of traditions. I hope my legal background will also help, as we focus on to enabling our structures to support our mission.
“I have hugely enjoyed being at the Cathedral, which is an amazing space where everyone is welcome, and the call is to be there for those in the parish, city and diocese. As cathedrals go, it’s small and quirky – a beautiful canvas on which exciting things can happen. It has been wonderful to work with the Cathedral’s inspiring team of lay and ordained people, and I will really miss my current role, but am also very much looking forward to all that lies ahead.
“And the interview process for this job was searching and interesting. One of the things we were asked to do was to visit Alverstoke Junior School in Gosport and be interviewed by a panel of pupils. They asked some really interesting questions about faith, and it was great that they were part of the process.”
And Bishop Jonathan said: “I am delighted. Canon Kathryn brings rich gifts, humour, energy and spiritual depth to life and ministry. I look forward to serving with her in the days ahead. This is a fabulous appointment: full of promise and possibility. Do pray for Kathryn, James and their family in the next few months of transition.”