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Archdeacon Morris to move to Cumbria
27/01/19

It has been announced this morning that Archdeacon Morris is to become the House-for-Duty, Priest-in-Charge of St Patrick’s, Patterdale - a small village in the heart of the Lake District, in the Diocese of Carlisle. The village has a resident population of about 400 people, but has a huge tourist footfall, as it lies at the foot of Helvellyn. The Mountain Rescue Team is a short walk from the vicarage – we hope Morris may join the team rather than need to call for its services!

Morris has been associated with the Diocese for 33 years (25 years ordained).  He served 5 years as a lay person in St Paul’s Leamington, 3 years ordination training, 4 years as a curate at St Mark’s Leamington, 13 years as vicar of St Mary’s Leamington, and nearly 9 years as Archdeacon Missioner.

Morris says:

"I had been idealising a part-time post in a mountain area pre-retirement, and this opportunity seemed one not to be missed.  I have loved the Diocese of Coventry, enjoyed every post held, and been thrilled to see churches once in decline becoming much healthier and growing again, new churches starting and thriving, a diocese getting younger, great clergy and laity who love Christ and His Church, communities beginning to see effective transformation, and of course working with a great Bishop and team!  I now feel called to a different context, which will combine my love of spending more time with my wife, local church growth, mountains, a large tourist mission-field, and the possibility of supporting the Diocese of Carlisle in their wider strategic and missional context.  I pray that the Diocese of Coventry will continue to grow in worshipping God, making new disciples, and transforming communities, as partners together in the message and ministry of reconciliation, and that my successor does not accumulate as many injuries as I have done in the role!"

In response to the announcement, the Bishop of Coventry said:

"Morris and Judith Rodham have made a long and lasting contribution to the Diocese of Coventry over many years. Judith’s deep involvement in the parishes where Morris has served, and her own long service to St Paul’s Church of England School, Leamington, have touched many lives. Very many people, including the hundreds of children, now adults, she has seen through since her days running the school nursery, will hold Judith closely in their hearts.

Morris has given himself fully to whatever ministry God has called him. I am especially grateful for these last years of Morris archidiaconal ministry. His was a new and unique role – perhaps the first in the Church of England – and he has inhabited it with his unique self, bringing his remarkable skills and gifts of creativity and imagination, passion and dedication.

Always, though, Morris has been committed to serving his bishop and fulfilling our common vision as a Diocese for people to encounter God in the wonderful privilege of worship, to follow Christ in the great adventure of discipleship and to see the communities where they live and work transformed by the reality of the kingdom of God. I am deeply thankful for the way Morris has helped us to fulfil this purpose with strategic intent.

We pray for Morris and Judith as they move on to their new calling, that they will know God’s great blessing upon them there as they have here."

There will be an opportunity to say our farewells to Morris at the Chrism Eucharist and Blessing of Oils in the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday, 18th April

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