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Senior clergyman announces summer retirement

Date: 12 January 2017

StuartBeakeThe 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.

“Exemplary service”

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.”  

Outstanding colleagues”

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.


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  1. Andrew Board | Feb 10, 2018

    Rev Stuart 

    Sandra and Andrew Board wish you and your wife a belated long and happy retirement 

    You married us at St Mary's church ​in February 1979

    Our first son is Adam Stuart after you and the wonderful impression you made on us during the pre marriage /confirmation classes 


    Very best wishes 

  2. Anne and Simon Johnson | Nov 14, 2017


    We wish you and Sally a belated happy retirement remembering our time at Hemel Hempstead

    iWould love to make contact again

    Anne and Simon Johnson

  3. John Strain | Jan 26, 2017

    I wish you every joy and happiness in your retirement with many thanks for your great wisdom and encouragement

    John Strain

  4. Revd Dr John Strain | Jan 26, 2017

    Wishing you and Mrs brake every happiness in your retirement with enormous thanks for all your support and encouragement.

    John Strain

  5. Carole Taylor | Jan 19, 2017
    Wishing you a very happy retirement
  6. Revd Elizabeth Knifton | Jan 16, 2017

    Dear Stuart

    I wish you God's richest blessing as you retire. I am sure God has much more for you to do just in a different capacity. Thank you for your ministry within the Diocese.

    Every Blessing


    Chaplain Acorn Christian healing Foundation

  7. Rosie Hawley | Jan 14, 2017

    Its been very special worshipping with you at Guildford Cathedral, especially at the Tuesday mid-week services.  Thank you for all the jokes in your sermons and the profound simplicity of your message.  Wishing you a really lovely retirement - remember what that means (!)

  8. Andy & Wendy Bryant | Jan 14, 2017

    We will always remember with deep thankfulness the way you supported and held us after our daughter's accident.   Thank you for your ministry to us and across the diocese.  May your retirement be long and happy.

    Andy and Wendy

  9. Alan Jenkins (Rector, St Nicolas, Great Bookham and Area Dean of Leatherhead) | Jan 14, 2017
    Thanks, Stuart, for all you have done and been among us. May you and Sally may know much strength and peace during this time of change and transition.
  10. The Reverend David Hobden | Jan 13, 2017

    Dear Stuart,

    Thank you for your thoughtful support when I was Chaplain of the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

    I wish you a joyful and fulfilling retirement.

    Glad you are staying in the area.

    Very best wishes,

    David Hobden

  11. Chris Bessant | Jan 13, 2017

    I'm really sorry that you are going.  I've no doubt you have earned a very long and happy retirement.  You support for us here in Chobham has been wonderful and prayerful.  You have defined for me what a great archdeacon should be.  My greatest thanks to you is much less than you deserve.


    Vicar, Chobha,

  12. Christopher Bevis | Jan 13, 2017
    Thank you so much, Stuart, for your years of service. For my part, I will miss your well researched and measured contributions to our deliberations in Diocesan Synod and at Bishop's Council. May you enjoy a long and very happy retirement!
  13. Glenda Archer | Jan 13, 2017

    I wish Stuart a happy retirement.  I am so grateful that he did not retire in 2016 as I was a warden during a vacancy!  His knowledge and guidance was vital to me.   Even when I was in panic mode, he was calm and reassuring.  It was because of Stuart and others like him that I actually enjoyed my year in vacancy.  I felt the love of Christ in my relationship with Stuart.

    May God continue to bless you  Stuart I will miss you

    PS I don't suppose I can still send my faculties to you for your advice ? :-)

    .Love, Glenda

    Warden,  Worplesdon

  14. Des Williamson | Jan 13, 2017
    We'll be sad to see Stuart go - he has a wonderful wit and feels like a pair of steady hands at the rudder. Thankfully he's not upping sticks and moving away entirely
  15. Peter Hardcastle (CW - St Mary & All Saints, Dunsfold) | Jan 12, 2017

    Dear Stuart

    Happy for you but sad for us.   But, there comes a time when we all have to give up the day job.  Please remember that the problem with retirement is that you never get a day off!

    While you were at St Albans did you come across my cousin John Reed who at one time was Precentor at the Abbey and has just retired as Archdeacon of Taunton?

    I will miss your counsel and particularly your encouragement in the circumstances in which we find ourselves.    In the menatime I wish you a long and very happy retirement.


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