New cleric looking forward to challenge

SENIOR clergy have announced the appointment of a new Archdeacon of Doncaster who will take up his new post early in the new year.

The Rev Steve Wilcockson, who is currently parish development officer in the Diocese of Chester, will succeed Bob Fitzharris who retires at the end of the year.

Mr Wilcockson said yesterday: “I am honoured to be invited to serve the Sheffield Diocese, and am inspired by Bishop Steven’s vision for growing sustainable churches to serve every part of the diocese.

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“I look forward to getting to know the parishes and communities of Doncaster, learning the story of each parish, and discovering together what God is calling us to be and to do in the coming years.”

Mr Wilcockson has been a vicar for 35 years and has served as curate in both Bradford and Southwark and his first parish as vicar was an inner urban area of Merseyside.

He then moved to a large parish of housing estates in Chester, then to London for 14 years where he served as Rural Dean of Epsom. He returned to Chester to take up his present post in 2009.

He is married to Heather, a health visitor, and they have two grown-up children and two young grandchildren.

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His appointment was announced by the Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft.

Dr Croft said: “I am absolutely delighted that Steve has accepted the invitation to be Archdeacon of Doncaster.

“He will bring very significant experience of parish ministry to his new role and the experience of encouraging and supporting clergy and lay ministers.

“He is used to working with a great variety of church traditions and in many different contexts.

“We look forward enormously to welcoming Steve and Heather to the diocese.”

The new Archdeacon will be installed in Sheffield Cathedral on January 25.