Mark Ireland is moving to parish ministry after nine richly productive years as missioner in Lichfield. He has resourced the national church in many ways, including his work as convenor of the Midlands regional missioners' group, his contribution to the national missioners' network and to the books "Evangelism - which way now" and "Evangelism in a spiritual age".
Our network will miss his creativity and wisdom enormously. Please pray for him and Gill as they prepare for this new chapter.
I am writing to let you know that it was announced last Sunday that I am to be the new vicar of All Saints Wellington with St. Catherine's Eyton. I shall be finishing my work as diocesan missioner and team vicar of St. Matthew's Walsall on 30 November, and will be inducted on the Feast of the Epiphany, Saturday 6 January at 2.00pm.
I would like to thank each of you for your encouragement and support in my work over the nine years I have been diocesan missioner. I remember that when Alan Smith handed the role of missioner over to me he said it was the best job in the Church of England, and now I know he was right! It has been a wonderful privilege to work with parishes and deaneries of every tradition and see the many ways in which God is growing his church and his kingdom across the diocese.
Ever since I was 17 I have sensed God's calling to lead a local church, and so I am looking forward to returning to full-time parish ministry.
Gill and I would very much value your prayers in this time of transition. I would also value your prayers for the people of St. Matthew's Walsall, whom we will find it hard to leave, and for Bishop Jonathan and the Bishop's Staff as they consider the future of the diocesan missioner post.