Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary Sylvia Johnson is retiring after 17 years working for the former Diocese of Bradford and the new Diocese of Leeds.
“I’ve been passionate about my work, including 15 years as PA to successive Archdeacons of Bradford, Ven Guy Wilkinson and Ven David Lee and absolutely loved it.
“Alongside my PA duties, I began working part-time for the DAC in November 2006, eventually leading to the full time post for the 656 churches in the new Diocese in 2015.
“It’s not been a decision I’ve taken lightly, but I believe the time is right,” said Sylvia who leaves at the end of April.
“Working for the Diocese has been a major part of my life and I’ve been based in eight different offices with many varying roles, so it’s always been interesting and challenging.
“It’s been a particular privilege to help the parishes maintain and enhance their buildings for mission, be that coping with leaking gutters or developing extensive re-ordering proposals. I have enjoyed working with such a wide group of clergy, churchwardens, the DAC and its staff, architects and colleagues at the Church Building Council – serving the CBC for the last six years.
“Churches are not museums, they have to be buildings appropriate for use by the worshipping congregation and the wider community, in order to be sustainable for the future.
“Saying goodbye to everyone will be hard, but it’s the right thing to do,” said Sylvia, who worships at St Stephen’s, Lindley, where she supports many of its activities.
“My husband Ted has recently retired and we have many things we want to do – I’d like to investigate the possibility of opening a Real Junk Food Café in Huddersfield and volunteering in other ways,” said Sylvia, who has two grown-up daughters, Samantha and Fiona.
“We have a holiday home in the Yorkshire Wolds, so will be spending time there and also like rambling, jazz music and visiting art galleries, museums and of course – churches.”
And some way from her Methodist upbringing, Sylvia also has a well-informed interest in wine tasting and gin festivals!
Joint Diocesan Secretary Debbie Child praised Sylvia’s high professionalism and said she would be greatly missed;
“She has done a wonderful job pulling together three very different advisory committees to produce one very effective and well-run committee for the diocese.
“Personally I will miss her greatly, as will so many people across the diocese.”