Diocese of Portsmouth

    New acting archdeacon and new area dean appointed

    25 March 2024

    BISHOP Jonathan has appointed Canon Bob White to be the new acting Archdeacon of Portsdown to support parishes in Havant and Portsmouth.

    Bob will remain vicar of St Mary’s Church in Fratton while he takes up this temporary role, working half-time as parish priest and half-time as acting Archdeacon. In order to do this, he has relinquished his post as area dean of Portsmouth. He will start his new role as archdeacon with immediate effect.

    The bishop has also appointed the Rev Annie McCabe, vicar of St Luke’s Church in Southsea, as the new area dean of Portsmouth. She will be supported by two new associate area deans, the Rev Paul Gully, rector of Farlington, and the Rev Jackie Twine, priest-in-charge of St Simon’s, Southsea.

    Canon Bob White was born in the city and has served as a member of clergy in this diocese since 1985 and has been vicar of St Mary’s since 2000. He is an Honorary Canon of our cathedral, chair of our diocese’s House of Clergy, a Chaplain to the King, and one of our representatives on the Church of England’s General Synod.

    He said: “I’m delighted to be able to serve in this temporary way. The role will be an acting position to ensure there is appropriate archdeaconry support for parishes in the Portsmouth and Havant deaneries.

    “Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore what extra support we need in the parish to enable the two roles of vicar and archdeacon to be fulfilled and the life of the two churches to continue to flourish.”

    Bishop Jonathan said: “Bob brings such vast knowledge and experience of the area to the role, along with huge admiration from clergy and congregations – not only in the Portsmouth deanery, but across the diocese. I trust this will bring some stability and support, both in the deanery and archdeaconry.”

    The Rev Annie McCabe was first ordained in 2012 and has been vicar at St Luke’s Church since 2015. She has overseen the development of St Luke’s into a hub for the local community, including the creation of a co-working space and café.

    She said: "I'm grateful to be the new area dean in this new season, building on all that has gone before. I'm delighted to be working with the Rev Paul Gully and the Rev Jackie Twine as together we seek to serve and encourage those within our deanery to continue to share the transforming love of God here in the city."

    The Ven Jenny Rowley stepped down as Archdeacon of Portsdown at the end of January. Retired priest the Ven Ian Jagger was then appointed to the position of interim archdeacon, but stepped down earlier this month.

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