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Archdeacon Cat installed as new Archdeacon of Pontefract

First published on: 7th May 2024

The Ven Cat Thatcher has been installed as the new Archdeacon of Pontefract.

At a service at Wakefield Cathedral on Sunday, May 5, Archdeacon Cat was installed by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, with the service attended by people from across the diocese and civic dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson.

Archdeacon Cat said: “I’m really looking forward to getting to know and serving the people and parishes of the Wakefield area, and pleased that my role will continue to include Initial Ministerial Education (IME) for the Wakefield area curates, so that I will continue to work with the diocese’s wonderful Clergy Development Team.”

Bishop Nick, congratulated Archdeacon Cat and said: “Cat brings to her new role wide experience and a strong working knowledge of our diocese.

“Her pre-ordination work informs her current and future ministry as an archdeacon – her ministry in cathedral, parish and diocese have been hugely appreciated.

“I’m sure her enthusiasm and skills will be warmly welcomed across the diocese, but particularly in the Wakefield Episcopal Area.”

Archdeacon Cat grew up in Manchester and moved to London after gaining a history degree at Emmanuel College Cambridge.

She worked in various roles across the national church and the public sector in London, until 2003 when she returned north to become Head of Primary Care and then Deputy Director of Primary Care in NHS Bradford and Airedale.  

In 2012 she left the NHS to train for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge, and in 2014 returned to Bradford to serve her curacy at Bradford Cathedral.  

Since 2018 she has been working on a Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology at Chester University.

“My thesis, which I hope to submit in 2024, Archdeaconing permitting, is on Compassion as a Corporate Value in NHS Organizations,” Archdeacon Cat said.

“In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano and own two cats, called The Bishop and Ben Stokes, whose primary role is to distract me from working on my thesis!”

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