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New Archdeacon of Surrey announced

The Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, has today announced that Revd Canon Catharine Mabuza will take up the position of Archdeacon of Surrey, in early 2024.   

Catherine Mabuza stood outside a church door wearing a black clerical shirt, navy jacket and navy top with white cloud like patternsCatharine is currently serving as Vicar of Warfield in Berkshire and is set to take up her new role as one of the most senior clergy in the diocese of Guildford in March 2024.She is married to Vusi, a fellow priest whom she met whilst partnering with the Diocese of Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa.   

The Diocese of Guildford has two archdeaconries, Surrey, and Dorking, with around 80 parishes in each. The Diocese of Guildford has two Archdeacons, who are senior clergy with a key role of pastoral care for the 200-plus clergy in the diocese, helping to enable strategy at a local level, overseeing the care of church buildings and assisting churches in vacancy.  

Making the announcement, the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, said: “I am delighted that Catharine has accepted our offer to become the next Archdeacon of Surrey. We were blessed with exceptionally strong applicants this year and Catharine was extremely impressive. Catharine’s strong leadership skills combined with her warm heart will make a great addition to my leadership team as we work together towards a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives, supporting our 159 parishes, chaplaincies and 83 schools.”  

Catharine has led a diverse, multi congregational church in Warfield in the Diocese of Oxford for nearly six years. She also holds the position of Area Dean of Bracknell overseeing 18 congregations and 17 clergy in the South-Eastern part of the Diocese of Oxford.   

Born and raised in Manchester, she read Theology at Oxford University before a management role at Royal Mail and then training for ordination at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. She was ordained in the Diocese of Monmouth in 2001.  

With this background in the Church in Wales, she has brought her extensive expertise to various roles, recent highlights include being an Associate Vicar at Greyfriars, Reading and a dedicated Parish Development Adviser for Berkshire for five years.  

Her commitment and distinguished service were recently honoured with her installation as an Honorary Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, in 2023.  

Speaking on her appointment, Catharine said: ‘I’m thrilled to be responding to God’s call to this new ministry, and Vusi and I are very excited to be moving to the Diocese of Guildford. I’m looking forward to seeing God’s transforming work in the people, churches, schools, and communities of the Diocese, and to joining in.”  

In her spare time, Catharine loves being outdoors – walking, cycling, or gardening. Something the Diocese of Guildford has in abundance.   

The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, said: “Catharine will be a tremendous gift to the Archdeaconry of Surrey, to the Bishop’s staff team and to the wider diocese. Everyone who meets Catherine is struck by her unique blend of wisdom, joy, and commitment to the Gospel. She will be much missed but goes with our prayers and every blessing for the new role.”  

Catharine succeeds the Right Reverend Paul Davies, who became the sixth Bishop of Dorking in November 2023. Details on her installation will come in due course and we look forward to interviewing Catharine in more detail when she joins the Diocese. 

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