The Archdeacon of Surrey, The Venerable Stuart Beake, has announced that he will retire in the summer following 43 years of ordained ministry.
Stuart graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 1972, before ministerial training at Cuddesdon College. He was ordained Priest in 1975 while serving his curacy in the St Albans Diocese and then became team vicar of St Mary’s, Hemel Hempstead, in 1979. A time as Chaplain to the Bishop of Southwell followed, before a move to the Diocese of Coventry in 1987 to become Vicar of Shottery in Stratford-on-Avon.
During his time in the Diocese of Coventry, Stuart served both as Rural Dean and as Chairman of the House of Clergy, as well as Diocesan Director of Ordinands, and at Coventry Cathedral as Sub-Dean (2000-2005) and also Acting Dean for a year.
Stuart moved to the Diocese of Guildford in 2005 where in addition to his role as Archdeacon he has also served as interim Diocesan Secretary, and latterly acting Precentor.
Stuart and his wife Sally plan to stay in the Diocese of Guildford following their retirement, where Stuart will also continue for a time as an unpaid Residentiary Canon of Guildford Cathedral.
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said “Stuart has given exemplary service here in Guildford, and his depth of experience, pastoral sensitivity, wisdom and sheer hard work have hugely endeared him to clergy and laity alike.
“He is always willing to go the extra mile and has earned great respect as a colleague and a servant of the Diocese.
“I am delighted that he and Sally will not be moving very far, and wish them God’s richest blessing as they prepare for retirement, until which time Stuart continues to play a key role in the leadership of the Diocese.”
The Archdeacon of Surrey, Stuart Beake, said: “I am grateful to all those in The Diocese of Guildford who have made my time here so stimulating and enjoyable. I have been privileged to work with outstanding colleagues and to be able offer support to so many extremely able clergy and laity.
“Sally and I have made some wonderful friends and been hugely inspired by the parish and cathedral life in which we have been allowed to participate.”
Archdeacons in the Church of England are senior clergy who serve under the diocesan bishop, with particular responsibility for the area's church buildings and pastoral care for clergy. The Diocese of Guildford has two Archdeacons, of Surrey and Dorking.
Timescales for the appointment of Stuart’s Successor as Archdeacon of Surrey will be published in due course.