The Archdeacon of Oxford is the Venerable Martin Gorick, the latest in a long line going back to 1092. He has been Archdeacon of Oxford since 2013, after 25 years in parish ministry in Gateshead, Smethwick and Stratford upon Avon. He worked as the (former) Bishop of Oxford’s Chaplain from 1991-94.
The Archdeacon of Oxford is also a Residentiary Canon at Christ Church, being part of the team of clergy at Oxford’s Cathedral and a member of the college’s Governing Body.
The title ‘Archdeacon’ means ‘Chief Servant’. Archdeacons share in the mission of the Church, exercising their ministry in close collaboration with the bishop. They play a significant role in the recruiting, oversight, discipline and pastoral care of the clergy, as ‘Servants of the Servants of God’.
The Archdeacons work together to ensure that the bishops are aware of the needs and concerns of clergy and people, and to foster in them a fuller sense of their responsibilities as members of Christ’s body. They share the ordinary jurisdiction of the bishop, and exercise the jurisdiction of the consistory court of the diocese as the chancellor directs.
They present ordination candidates to the bishop. They induct and install ministers, conduct visitations of the parishes, and care for Churchwardens in their office. By word, deed, and example, they seek to encourage good administration and due process, exercising authority with wisdom, gentleness and vision; in all things remembering that they minister as priest and pastor in the Church of God.
Archdeacons act as a bridge between parish and diocese in matters concerning Church fabric and faculties pastoral re-organisation, parsonages and church buildings and work with Area Deans and Parish Development Advisers on mission action planning. They chair their Area Glebe and Buildings Committee, Mission and Pastoral Committee and attend meetings of the DAC, Diocesan Trustees and undertake Ministry Review.
The Archdeacon of Oxford also has specific responsibility across the diocese for three significant areas of mission and ministry: Inter-Faith matters; Chaplains and Chaplaincies (hospital, school, university, and so on); and new communities, co-ordinating the church response to large new housing developments.