James McArdle (Picture: Keith Blundy)

A new member of staff has joined the Diocese to help shape and deliver the Diocesan Conference in October 2019.

James McArdle takes on the part-time role of Mission Partner Learning Coordinator, a position that will see him working to deliver the Diocesan Conference in 2019. James (44) who was a staff tutor at St John’s College while studying for an MA in Theology and has also worked in various roles including Politics and Government Relations says he is looking forward to getting out and about in the Diocese and meeting the people that make up its rich and diverse communities.

James said: “My role is very much focussed on the lead up to, and delivery of, the Diocesan Conference in 2019. As well as working in the team which will manage the event itself, a big part of my role is to be an advocate for the conference. That involves listening to clergy, church groups and organisations about their part in the life of the Diocese and how this can both shape the conference and the next 5-year plan that will follow it.”

As well as his corporate life roles, James embarked on a sabbatical period in 2012 in which he and his Wife Dawn and two sons joined the Anglican Pilsdon Community, living and working amongst those in recovery from addiction and living with the challenges of mental health. The family later returned to the North East where James worked for a housing charity and then with an international development agency.

Revd Canon Sophie Jelley, Director of Mission, Ministry and Discipleship said: “I am delighted to welcome James to this project. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be hugely beneficial in crafting a process of careful listening to God and one another as we move towards the conference.” 

Bishop Paul said: “It’s great that James is joining us now with just over a year to go to the Diocesan Conference in 2019. James will play an important role along with others in shaping the build-up, content and delivery of what will be a pivotal conference in the strategic and spiritual journey of the Diocese. There is a lot to do, but I am delighted that James is going to be with us, helping us to navigate our way.”