This month will see two familiar faces disappear from daily life at Wakefield Cathedral as they say goodbye to curate, Tim Stevens, and sub dean and canon pastor, Tony Macpherson.
Tim's last service will be on Sunday 21 July at 10am and Tony's on Sunday 28 July at 10am.
It might be unusual for your first job as a new priest to find yourself in Wakefield Cathedral, but for Tim Stevens (pictured left and above), it was like coming home.
Now as he prepares to say goodbye and gets ready to serve the parishes of Darton and Staincross, Barnsley, Tim looks back at his time there.
“It was like coming home. I learned how to minister in a tradition I had always been a part of, and one that had informed my growth in faith, and that has set me up to serve in that tradition in the future.
“It’s been an amazing place to be with so many opportunities that no other curacy could have offered anywhere else in the diocese.
“I set up a walking club, was able to build up links between the Cathedral and the Cathedral Academy, and engage children and young people in a cathedral setting with a monthly food and film club.
“The Food and Film Club was great, a couple of them had never experienced church before and have now gone on to play a much fuller part in the Cathedral.
“It taught me that engaging with young families and young people is a really important part of my ministry,’ added Tim, who is married to Jolene and has two young children.
With a background in retail, Tim has been at the forefront of developing and growing the Cathedral Shop. It was part of his responsibility within the Cathedral team and in that time, it has seen a real overhaul. The stock has been refreshed, there’s a better, more integrated till system and a new stock management system. But more importantly, it has gone from being a completely volunteer-based organisation, to making enough money to employ a member of staff to run it professionally.
But a curacy in a city centre cathedral does not equip you for parish ministry, so Tim went out into some of the other parishes within the Wakefield Episcopal Area including Chapelthorpe, and a three month placement in Outwood, to better understand daily life in a parish context.
At the end of August, Tim will become the vicar of Darton and Staincross; two very different parishes. One is a substantial ex-mining community and the other, a commuter parish for people working in Leeds.
“The biggest thing for me is to engage with families and try and draw them back into church.
“I want to create a community and put God at the centre of that, so they know God has something to offer them, and is not just there on a Sunday to take their family time away from them.
“And the ultimate challenge, ” said Tim “is to bring both churches together to be one Christian community serving all the people, young and old, “ he added.
Canon Tony (pictured right), on the other hand, will become Priest in Charge of the parishes of North Sunderland, Beadnell and Ellingham in the Diocese of Newcastle and will be licensed in that role on Wednesday, September 11.