The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have paid tribute to the service of Caroline Boddington, who has announced today she will be leaving the National Church Institutions (NCIs) at the end of 2021 after 17 years as the Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and Development.
Caroline has been a senior adviser to the Archbishops of Canterbury and York since she joined the NCIs in 2004. During this time she has transformed the process by which senior appointments are made in the Church of England – with a particular focus on ensuring greater diversity among candidates for senior roles.
As well as supporting those exploring senior leadership roles and those involved in discerning candidates for the better part of twenty years, Caroline has led the transformation of the leadership and ministerial development for bishops and deans, and for those who are thinking about wider leadership roles in the future through the Strategic Leadership Development Programme.
Caroline has led the modernisation of the processes that ensure the recruitment for appointments to senior ecclesiastical office is fair and transparent – as well as grounded in prayer and guided by the Holy Spirit. She has also overseen the induction of bishops and deans into their new roles.
As part of changes being made to simplify the structures of the NCIs and bring functions together to support the Church’s Vision and strategic priorities for the 2020s, a new expanded remit for the Ministry team will include clergy HR and aspects of senior leadership development, bringing the entire clergy and lay ministry life cycle into one team. Caroline’s decision comes in the light of those changes. The Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary role will continue to lead on senior clergy appointments.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Most Revd Justin Welby and the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, said: “It’s hard to overstate the impact that Caroline has had on the Church of England over the past 17 years – or our gratitude for her service. Inspired by her deep faith and devoted discipleship, Caroline’s leadership has been marked by a tireless willingness to ask the difficult questions and challenge our thinking and processes. As a result, senior appointments increasingly reflect the diversity of the people of God and the Church of Jesus Christ.
“Meanwhile Caroline has been committed to providing bishops and deans with continual support and development, while nurturing the next generation of leaders. These have been gifts to the Church that will bear fruit for many years to come. Caroline leaves the NCIs with our prayers, gratitude and very best wishes for the future.”
Caroline Boddington said: “It has truly been a privilege to serve the Church of England over the last seventeen years. To have been alongside individuals, dioceses and cathedrals as they have sought to discern their vocation has been a precious gift. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had and for the creative and stimulating colleagues with whom I have worked in all sorts of teams and project groups. I will miss them greatly as I now step into my own journey of exploration as to what might be next.”