Proud Parents Pat & Jim Francis with the silver st Cuthberts Cross a Gift from Durham to a Bishop Daughter

 Proud Parents Pat & Jim Francis with the silver St Cuthberts Cross  a Gift from Durham to a  Bishop Daughter

Proud Parents Pat & Jim Francis with the silver St Cuthberts Cross a Gift from Durham to a Bishop Daughter
When The Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, who grew up in Sunderland in the Durham Diocese, is enthroned as the next Anglican Bishop of Waikato in New Zealand later this month, she will have a potent reminder of home. Helen-Ann will become the seventh Bishop of Waikato and the first woman to hold the office on February 22, succeeding Archbishop David Moxon, who is now the Anglican Communion’s ambassador to Rome. Helen-Ann is also the first woman ordained within the Church of England to become a Bishop. On the same day, the new Bishop of Durham, The Right Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham, will be enthroned at Durham Cathedral at a service of inauguration, where Helen-Ann served as an acolyte when she was a child. Her parents Jim and Pat who live nr Durham, will be taking a special gift when they attend the service in New Zealand, a Cuthbert Durham Pectoral Cross, specially made by a Durham silversmith. Having moved to Sunderland when Helen-Ann was a child, the family attended St Chad’s church in East Herrington and her father moved from the Church of Scotland to the Church of England in the Durham Diocese in 1987, later becoming a Revd Canon. Recently retired, his roles have included Honorary Non Residentiary Canon at Durham Cathedral, where Pat is still a steward. Jim said: “The Cuthbert Cross is a Bishop’s badge of office and a sign of her spiritual authority in her diocese. We are taking it as a gift, a sign of our thankfulness at how the people in her new diocese have recognised her talents. “Growing up in Sunderland and Durham, the Diocese of Durham was Helen-Ann‘s formation. She is delighted that she will have a Durham Cuthbert cross. “When she found out that her enthronement was on the same day that the new Bishop of Durham will be enthroned, she was delighted.” Pat said: “It is all linking in beautifully, transferring memories of her life here, where she got so much joy from serving, to her new life in Waikato. “It is a beautiful coincidence that she will be enthroned on the same day as Bishop Paul is enthroned as Bishop of Durham. She is delighted.” Bishop Helen-Ann was born in Edinburgh and moved with her family to Sunderland in 1975 when her clergyman father secured a teaching position at Sunderland Polytechnic, now Sunderland University. Helen-Ann attended Benedict Biscop Primary School then St Anthony’s secondary school, both in Sunderland, before going to study at St Andrew’s University in Scotland. She is the fourth generation of her family to be ordained, and became a priest in 2005 in the Diocese of Oxford. She worked as one of a team ministering to 12 rural parishes in Oxfordshire before being appointed as the Director of Biblical Studies and a lecturer in the New Testament at the theological college, Ripon College Cuddesdon, near Oxford. Helen-Ann, with her husband Myles who is a musician and church organist, went to New Zealand in 2010 to undertake research at St John’s College and she returned in February 2011 to take up the position as Dean. The Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki is unique in the Anglican Communion because of its style of leadership. It has two equal bishops sharing jurisdiction across the whole of the diocese. Helen-Ann will share its leadership with Philip Richardson, who is both the Bishop of Taranaki and also Archbishop of the New Zealand Dioceses.

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