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New Leadership for Diocese of York Retreat House

Mark Rance

Tuesday 4th November 2014

Mark Rance has been announced as the new General Manager of Wydale Hall, the retreat and conference centre for the Diocese of York.


 Mark is currently Head of Operations at St Michael le Belfrey church in York, a post which he has held for 21 years.  St Michael le Belfrey is one of the biggest Church of England churches in the North of England, with approximately 800 people attending each week.

In addition to his role within the senior leadership at St Michael’s, Mark has been involved in organising the New Wine Conferences and is a member of the oversight group of the UK Church Administrators Network.  Mark is married to Diana and they will be moving to Wydale in the New Year.

Mark said, “As we enter a new phase in the life of Wydale Hall I am excited by the possibilities for the Hall to be a centre of mission and ministry as well as a place of training, rest and re-envisioning for individuals and churches across the North of England.  I'm looking forward to the challenges it brings and to working with the team there as we play our part in the York Diocesan vision to be Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples."

Mark will be supported in his role by a new Advisory and Oversight Group which will be chaired by the Rt Revd Graham Cray, formerly Archbishops’ Missioner and Team Leader for Fresh Expressions. Bishop Graham and his wife Jackie, who have recently retired to the Diocese of York, have been invited by the Archbishop Sentamu to lead the process of creating a renewed vision for Wydale as a key mission and ministry resource for churches in the Diocese, the North, and beyond. 

Bishop Graham said, “Jackie and I look forward to supporting Mark and Diana in their new ministry, and helping to establish a vision for the future of Wydale which is rooted in prayer and will serve the mission of the Church in the north at many levels.”

Archbishop Sentamu said, “I’m very excited about the new team coming to Wydale Hall.  Mark, Graham and Jackie bring a wide range of gifts to ensure Wydale Hall is a wonderful resource for Christian mission and ministry.  Wydale Hall is a beautiful house, and I pray that God will continue to richly bless all who visit it in the coming months and years.”

Wydale Hall is an 18th century house set in fourteen acres of gardens and woodlands, located between Pickering and Scarborough on the edge of the North York Moors.  It has been the retreat and conference centre for the Diocese of York since 1952.  Find out more at

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