The Diocese of Oxford is delighted to announce that the Revd Canon Stephen Pullin from Reading Minster is to become the new Archdeacon of Berkshire.

Stephen joined the Diocese as Priest-in-Charge of St Mary the Virgin, (Reading Minster) in 2014. Launching Sanctuary, which sees the church open as a refuge for party-goers, the homeless and others from 9pm to 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, has been one of the highlights of his Minster ministry.

“We’ve worked with Reading Borough Council, South Central Ambulance Service and Street Pastors. The initiative has brought all those agencies together to provide cover, first-aid and out-reach to people in the night-time economy, the homeless, those affected by addiction and those enjoying the pubs and clubs on nights out,” says Stephen.

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, said: “Stephen emerged as the right candidate for the role of Archdeacon of Berkshire through a testing process and in a very able field of other candidates.

“Stephen will bring a heart for mission and the Church, resilience, imagination and vision. He is deeply committed to our calling to be a more Christ-like Church for the sake of God’s world and to the churches and people of Berkshire.  I look forward enormously to working more closely with Stephen and to the leadership he will bring to the area and the wider Diocese.”

The Ven. Olivia Graham, the former Archdeacon of Berkshire, who is soon to be Bishop of Reading, said: “I am delighted that Stephen will be continuing to work with the Reading Area Team as Archdeacon. He is a person of great integrity, wisdom and common sense, and has proved himself to be a much-valued colleague since he took up the role of Assistant, and recently Acting Archdeacon. Our prayers are for him and Sarah as they make this transition.”

As Archdeacon, Stephen will be helping churches with what they are trying to accomplish on a local level while helping them to engage with our Common Vision to be a more Christ-like Church. “I want to help parishes connect meaningfully with the Common Vision focus areas and use them to help with the projects that work in their contexts,” he says.

Another priority for Stephen will be wellbeing. “I will be focusing on clergy wellbeing, and also on the wellbeing of churchwardens, congregations and all of the staff and volunteers who serve in our churches and communities,” he says.

So, what does Stephen hope for as he steps into his new role? “I think a renewal of confidence in the local church and the release of new and varied ministries in our churches,” he says.

As well as being the Priest-in-Charge at the Minster, Stephen has been the Area Dean of Reading and Acting Archdeacon of Berkshire. He became Acting Archdeacon in September when Olivia left the role to prepare to be consecrated as the Bishop of Reading.

Stephen finishes his current role at the end of January. He will then take a break until his collation on Saturday, 29th February at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. A welcome service will take place in the Berkshire Archdeaconry at a date to be confirmed. 

Stephen is married to Sarah, and they have three sons.

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For more information or interviews, contact Steven Buckley on 07824 906839 or Jo Duckles on 07880 716761.

Biography:

Stephen’s first degree was in chemical engineering from South Bank University. He began his career working for Tate and Lyle, and the company sponsored him to complete an Open University MBA. During that time, he was involved with a church plant of Holy Trinity Brompton in London. Stephen trained as an ordinand at Trinity College, Bristol. He completed a curacy in the Diocese of Bristol, where he was also the Bishop’s Advisor for Deliverance Ministry. He moved to Reading in 2014 to become the Priest in Charge of St Mary the Virgin, which is also known as Reading Minster. He was also Area Dean of Reading until 2017 when he became an Assistant Archdeacon of Berkshire. He was made an Honorary Canon of Christ Church Cathedral in January this year.

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