The Bishop announced the appointment of Simon to be the next Archdeacon of St Helens and Warrington on Sunday.
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes has announced the appointment of the Rev Canon Simon Fisher to be the next Archdeacon of St Helens and Warrington. Simon will succeed Ven Roger Preece who was appointed as Master of St Katharines in London earlier this year. We are now putting arrangements together for Simon’s collation service which will take place in the New Year.
Father Simon currently serves as vicar in St John’s Tuebrook. Trained for the priesthood at Cuddesdon he has served in a town parish in Bath and Wells, six country parishes in Peterborough before moving to his current post in central Liverpool. Latterly he has served as Bishop’s Planning Officer supporting a multitude of pastoral reorganisation schemes across our diocese.
Reflecting on his ministerial service Simon commented “Until now I’ve never been in any one diocese for more than three or four years at a time, so I’m very glad that this new role will keep me in our own diocese where I feel very much at home. But despite living in Liverpool city for the last nine years I don’t think I’ve taken on the accent, so I hope I’ll be easily understood in my new archdeaconry!”
Simon is married to Katryn with four children - Charles (11), Lucy (9), Bertie (7) and Hester (2) – so family life keeps them busy but both Katryn and he love to cook and entertain when they can.
Simon has felt his gifts have directed him towards the ministry of archdeacon and his work as Bishop’s Planning Officer seemed to confirm that God felt that’s where his gifts were leading him. He told us “I’ve loved being allowed into a little bit of what people are doing in God’s service around our diocese, meeting some great people with amazing gifts and callings, and hearing about their dreams and difficulties”.
Simon added “I’ve been doing a little bit to help people around our diocese navigate the complexity of the Church of England’s rules and structures. I hope I’ve made it a bit easier for people to do what God is calling them to do in their communities. I am one of those people who likes the detail of the laws, regulations and customs of the Church of England. All the things an archdeacon has to get involved with. We need people like me (but not too many) to make the rules what they are supposed to be: a safeguard for everyone, and not a burden”.
Simon will be leaving St John’s Tuebrook after nine years and as with any minister leaving a community if it will be difficult. “I love the people of St John’s Tuebrook, its congregation and wider community, and it will be a real wrench to leave them,” he said. “It is wonderful to have seen people come to faith, and to have seen people develop in their faith and discipleship, as well as heartbreaking to sit with people in their troubles. I know how important and how profound those relationships are”.
As he contemplates the role God is calling him to Simon commented “I am looking forward to getting to know people and places in our diocese that I don’t know well yet. I know that God will do great things in the archdeaconry of St Helens and Warrington, and I know there will be challenges and disagreements, and mistakes to correct. I don’t know what lies ahead, and I look forward to discovering with the people of the archdeaconry where it is that God is leading us. I hope to meet and get to know as many of the clergy and lay leaders of the area as possible: you know better than I do at the moment what will be needed.”
“Our task as a church is urgent. The Faith is out of fashion in our generation, and yet we are still called to witness to what God is doing, and to serve his children. And we sometimes find it hard as a church to adapt to the new situation we find ourselves in. At the same time, we don’t need to be anxious and we don’t need to panic. Scripture constantly reminds us that we need to get up and do something, and to go to new places; but also that God is with us, and is faithful, and that we are secure in him. As the people of God, we need to be able to talk to one another honestly and with trust about all of this. I hope I will do that, and encourage others to do it too”.
Bishop Paul said “I'm delighted that Fr Simon has accepted the invitation to minister among us as Archdeacon of St Helens and Warrington and to join the oversight team here in the Diocese. He will bring prayerfulness, wisdom and skill to the role, building on the fine work he has done as my Planning Officer. As an experienced parish priest, and as one who is committed to the aims and purposes of the Diocese, he will bring understanding and insight to the parishes, schools and chaplaincies of the Archdeaconry as well as giving space and blessing to creative initiatives such as Transform NW.
Please join me in praying for Fr Simon and his family as they prepare to take up this new ministry in the new year.”