New Archdeacon for Halifax joins our diocese at Wakefield Cathedral

The Ven Bill Braviner, former Incumbent of St Peter Stockton-on-Tees and St John Elton, has been installed as the new Archdeacon for Halifax.

At a service presided over by Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Archdeacon Bill made his Declaration of Assent and swore oaths of allegiance before a congregation of family, friends and clergy at Wakefield Cathedral.

Alongside the Collation and Installation of the Revd Bill Braviner as Archdeacon of Halifax, the Revd Charlene Smith was licenced as Honorary Priest Vicar and Mrs Marilyn Banister was installed as Lay Canon. 

Speaking afterwards, Bill said, "I’m so looking forward to working with everybody across the whole diocese as Warden of Readers, as part of the Bishop’s staff and of course within the archdeaconry, with the parishes and the leadership there.

“It’s wonderful to come to such diversity … and to a place that has such tradition in music and in the arts.

“Thank you so much for the welcome I have received and for the prayers that have been said for me as I begin this ministry and I can’t wait to meet people, to get stuck in and to join this wonderful Diocese of Leeds.”

Pictured on the left of Bishop Nick, and alongside civic guests such as Ed Anderson, HM Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, and Cllr Chris Pillai, Mayor of Calderdale, Bill is married to Angela. It was through their joint passion for music that Bill and Angela first became acquainted, meeting initially whilst playing for a Classical Orchestra on a tour to Germany. 

Bishop Nick Baines led the service and gave the sermon in which he welcomed Bill to his role.

“In your new role you’ll be caught up with lots of detail, and that’s how it is.

“The role of an archdeacon is to be caught up in lots of detail on behalf of parishes. To support those who are trying to keep the gospel of Jesus Christ alive, sometimes in very challenging circumstances.

"My prayer for you Bill is that you’ll thrive as an Archdeacon.”

At the start of the service the Ven Bob Cooper, Archdeacon of Sunderland, commended Bill to the Diocese of Leeds.

“Frankly I’m disappointed Bill is here today, because the Diocese of Durham is so saddened to lose him.

“Bill is a big man with a big heart and he’ll work with a tremendous zeal for the gospel, because that is his heart.

“Durham’s loss is Leeds gain.”

Bill grew up in South Shields, on Tyneside and trained for ordination at Cranmer Hall in Durham.

He was a curate in Royton, Oldham.

He has served as Area Dean, and on numerous Boards, Committees, and synods, including General Synod. 

Bill is passionate about equality of access and inclusion. He has been a Diocesan Disability Adviser, and co-runs an organisation working to help the church become more aware and inclusive of disabled people.

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