A church leader whose outlook was shaped by his experiences alongside villagers fighting a pit closure is taking on a major role at a Yorkshire cathedral.
Throughout his 34-year ministry the Rev Canon Tony Macpherson has never worked further than 20 miles from Wakefield Cathedral and yesterday it was announced he will be the cathedral’s next Sub Dean and Canon Pastor.
He said: “My dream here is to continue to build a place that’s open and accepting, where everyone feels welcome, a place where each member of the cathedral team can play their part.
“I want to the team to feel involved, to feel excited about the future – I want them to be empowered and play their part.”
He recalled a posting to Grimethorpe, Barnsley, just as the mine was closing.
“It was a tough time for everyone in those villages; man, woman and child. The pit closures taught me a lot about community, about the value of community and the way in which communities can suffer so deeply, especially when events are taken out of their control.”
He recalled walking beside miners on marches: “On reflection, it prepared me; it made me who I am as a priest today.”
A challenge facing the church is “growing disciples” as “Christianity is not accepted by everyone,” he said.