Diocese of Portsmouth

    Bishop makes two senior appointments

    2 Feb. 2024

    BISHOP Jonathan has today announced two new senior appointments: an interim Archdeacon and a permanent Diocesan Secretary.

    The Ven Ian Jagger will become interim Archdeacon of Portsdown, while Philip Poulter has now been appointed as our new permanent Diocesan Secretary. This comes after a week in which we have said farewell to our previous Archdeacon of Portsdown, the Ven Jenny Rowley.

    The Ven Ian Jagger originally moved to our diocese in 1994 as team rector for Holy Trinity and St Columba, Fareham, and later became area dean, and then our diocese’s Canon Missioner from 1998-2001. He then became Archdeacon of Auckland, in Durham diocese, and in 2006 he moved to Durham Cathedral as Canon Treasurer and Archdeacon of Durham.

    His wife Ruth is also ordained and they retired to our diocese in 2019, ending up back in Fareham. Ruth was assisting the parish as priest and organist, while Ian was waiting for God’s call when the Covid pandemic happened. Bishop Jonathan has now suggested that his experience as an archdeacon might be useful in our diocese.

    Bishop Jonathan said: "I’m sure Ian’s rich experience as a priest will enhance the life of the archdeaconry and wider diocese. I am delighted that he has agreed to place his wisdom, pastoral skills, and prayerfulness at the service of our shared life and vocation."

    And Ian said: “This has come as a complete surprise, but with a sense of God’s call. Serving part-time for a period has a feel of vocation, which makes sense on the ground, personally and in prayer.

    "So much has changed even in the last five years in the church and the world, and many of us feel some pressure and anxiety. But as a former Bishop of Durham said: 'God is as he is in Jesus, therefore we have hope'. In this diocese some very good things are happening, and it will be a privilege to work with Bishop Jonathan, the Archdeacons and other colleagues in this interim role."

    Ian will be working as interim Archdeacon of Portsdown on a part-time basis and his contact details can be found here. Ian will look to support and enable the ministries of our area deans, lay chairs, clergy and lay leaders across Portsmouth and Havant deaneries.

    Philip Poulter has been serving as interim Diocesan Secretary and adviser to the bishop for more than a year. He is a parishioner at St Mary Magdalen, Sheet, where he has also been PCC treasurer and he has also previously chaired our Diocesan Finance Committees. His previous working life involved being a professional interim manager, so he was happy to step into this role when Bishop Jonathan asked him to do so in December 2022.

    After a formal interview process, and consultation with the Bishop’s Council, Bishop Jonathan has now appointed him to the permanent role of Diocesan Secretary, where his responsibilities will include managing the small team based at our diocesan offices and acting as secretary to our Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council. 

    He said: “My intention was to stay only until as a suitable long-term appointment could be made, but it became increasingly clear there was a calling for me to stay on longer term. I’ve been richly rewarded by the positive response and support from diocesan staff, clergy and parishes, and I value the opportunity to continue this work on a permanent basis.”

    His contact details can be found here.

    Meanwhile the Ven Jenny Rowley, former Archdeacon of Portsdown, has expressed her thanks to you all for kind messages, flowers, cards and prayers following the announcement that she would be stepping down from the role. She was also touched to see friends and colleagues gathered for her official farewell at the Candlemas carol service in our cathedral, especially cathedral staff who put together the service, the bishop for his kind words, and those who contributed to her generous gift.

    She said: “The clergy and people of Portsmouth diocese will always hold a special place for me. Although it has been a challenging time for so many of us, I take with me some good memories and valued friendships. Thank you. As we go our separate ways, my prayers remain with you that God will continue to richly bless you in all you are and do in his name.”

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