As part of Ripon Cathedral’s vision for the future, two new posts have been created designed to strengthen the cathedral’s clergy team.
Pictured with the Dean of Ripon, John Dobson (centre) are the Revd Barry Pyke (left) who has been appointed as the Cathedral’s first Canon for Rural Engagement and Education. On the right is the Revd Dan Sladden, who is to be the cathedral’s Minor Canon Succentor, reviving an historic job description (a ‘succentor’ is responsible for worship supporting the ‘precentor’) but with an up to date brief to develop worship for the wider community. Both clergy will be installed in their new roles on Sunday 11 September.
The appointments follow publication of the Cathedral’s strategy document, Growing God’s Kingdom, which outlines the Cathedral’s strategy for the next few years. “Both these appointments relate directly to our recently published Cathedral vision” says the Dean of Ripon, the Very Revd John Dobson. “At a time when we have been discerning God’s calling for us, expressed in ‘Growing God’s Kingdom’, we are delighted that Barry Pyke will be coming to help develop out engagement with the rural community as well as keeping the education brief and connecting with military communities in this area.
“Dan Sladden is coming to help develop our worship so that we can hopefully connect with people who at the moment are not coming to the cathedral for worship, so working with our Canon Evangelist, Ruth Hind, to develop that.”
The Revd Barry Pyke, (54), leaves his post as Area Dean of Whitby in the diocese of York to come to Ripon. Married, with two children, Barry is currently the Rector of Hinderwell, Roxby and Staithes with Lythe, Sandsend and Ugthorpe. He is also a reserve Army Chaplain and plans to continue developing links with the military in his new post.
“I feel very excited about the move. I love the rural environment and working in rural areas and it’s something I am really looking forward to. I will be looking at supporting rural ministry and raising the profile of the cathedral. And the Cathedral has a great education portfolio where it engages with school children, sharing the Christian faith using the cathedral. It’s a good combination.”
The Revd Dan Sladden, (47), who lives in Sowerby nr Thirsk, trained as a pioneer minister and following a four-year curacy at Ingleby Barwick in York Diocese, he will join the clergy team as Minor Canon Succentor. He is married to Ruth who sings in the choir and the couple have five children, three of whom still sing in the cathedral choir. “I am very excited about moving here”, said Dan, “This is a half-time job and I will be helping to lead worship, and the role is about being involved in liturgy and in church growth.”
Both clergy will take up their posts in September, at a licensing service on Sunday, 11 September at 3.30pm.