THE NEW ARCHDEACON OF SURREY has been installed and welcomed to the Diocese of Guildford at a service in Guildford Cathedral. The Venerable Paul Davies (44) was previously an Archdeacon in the Church in Wales.
The service was attended by many representatives from the Surrey Archdeaconry, in the western portion of the diocese, and those representatives from Bangor who braved the heavy snow in north Wales to make the journey.
The Bishop of Guildford, preaching, encouraged the new Archdeacon to follow in the footsteps of the Prophet Micaiah, and be a “hope-filled realist” as he begins his ministry.
Paul is married to Louise, a town planner, and they have two school-aged children, Gwilym and Llinos.
The Diocese of Guildford has two Archdeacons, who are are senior clergy with a key role of pastoral care for the 200+ clergy in the diocese, helping to enable strategy at a local level, overseeing the care of church buildings and assisting churches in vacancy. The Archdeacon of Surrey is an ancient role which dates back to the early part of the second millennium, when the Diocese of Guildford was part of a larger Diocese of Winchester.
Paul was ordained in 1997, having trained at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and served his title curacy as Minor Canon of St David’s Cathedral. This was followed by successive incumbencies at Solva in rural Pembrokeshire and Burry Port in post-industrial Carmarthenshire. During these years he was also Ecumenical Officer and Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of St David’s. He has been the Archdeacon of Bangor since 2012, serving the area of North Wales which includes Snowdonia and Anglesey.
A fluent Welsh speaker, in his spare time, Paul enjoys being a Dad to two busy children, woodwork, singing and is a keen sailor with experience as a member of a lifeboat crew. At the time of his appointment as Archdeacon of Bangor in 2012, at 38, he was the youngest Archdeacon in England and Wales.
"Humbled and excited"
Speaking on his appointment, Paul said: “I am humbled, excited and daunted to be appointed as the next Archdeacon of Surrey. I am greatly inspired by the Gospel vision, Transforming Church, Transforming Lives, and very much look forward to both celebrating and learning from God and his people in the Diocese of Guildford.
“I’m also pleased to have the opportunity to give something back to the county of Surrey for the gift of my wife, who is a Surrey girl!”
The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson said: “I am delighted that Paul is joining the Diocese of Guildford. He has a warm heart and a strategic head, and will make a great contribution to the life of the parishes and chaplaincies as we work together towards a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives.”
The Diocese of Guildford’s archdeaconries are Surrey and Dorking, with around 80 parishes in each. The Archdeaconry of Surrey is the western portion of the Diocese of Guildford. Paul Davies succeeds the Venerable Stuart Beake as Archdeacon of Surrey, who retired in September.