The Archbishop of York has asked the Ven Sam Rushton, Archdeacon of York, to be Interim Diocesan Director for Strategic Transformation for a six-month period of secondment from her regular duties, beginning on 15 November 2021.

The Ven John Day, currently based in the Diocese of York while ministering across the Northern Province for the Archbishop, and a former Archdeacon of Christchurch, New Zealand, will take over the functions of Archdeacon of York for this period.

Parishes and deaneries have contributed this year to consultations across the Diocese to help guide us in becoming more Christ-like, and by growing the church which is his body. Sam Rushton’s role for the coming six months will be to facilitate the work that the Diocesan Leadership Team will do together in refining and completing the strategic vision for the Diocese emerging from the consultation responses. She will aim to steer the vision through Diocesan Synod, working to build up ownership of and commitment to the vision as it develops, and through communicating it clearly, to prepare the way for its implementation across the Diocese.

In an interim role funded and resourced from short-term savings in pooled diocesan costs, Sam will lead a bid for strategic funding from the national Church of England to employ a substantive Director for Strategic Transformation and build additional capacity to support parishes and deaneries as the prayerful vision emerging from the consultation develops into a framework for permanent and fruitful change for us all across the Diocese.

Archbishop Stephen said, “As a Diocese we’re at a vital crossroads where we need to find the right help and the right route to Living Christ’s Story in the 2020s and 2030s. People in parishes and deaneries from the Tees to the Humber have shared their vision and we now have to pray and work together to see how we can make this work with what God has provided; I am thrilled that in Sam Rushton we have someone from our own church family with a strong background in developing and applying a vision – someone of faith and talent who can step into the role of Interim Director for the Strategic Transformation of the Diocese of York.”

Sam Rushton served as Archdeacon of Cleveland for four years before becoming Archdeacon of York, having previously served as Diocesan Adviser for Licensed Ministry and Warden of Readers in the Diocese of Bristol. Before ordination, Sam worked for Lloyds TSB for 14 years, including eight years in UK Retail Banking ‘Business Strategy and Planning’, working at Group and Business Unit levels on strategic reviews, organisation redesign and mergers & acquisitions.

John Day, who will take over the administrative roles of the Archdeacon of York, is already well-known in the Diocese. He has served since 2016 as the Archbishop of York’s Assistant Chaplain and Adviser in Mission Strategy and Church Revitalisation; his parish ministry is working with the incumbent in York St Chad, St Clement and Bishopthorpe St Andrew. From 2001 to 2015 John worked in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, as a vicar and then Archdeacon in Christchurch Diocese; previously he had been a vicar in Bradford and Leeds, and later was Archdeacon in Liverpool Diocese assisting parishes in strategies for growth.

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