Norfolk Archdeacon announces his retirement
The Archdeacon of Norfolk, the Venerable David Hayden, has announced that he is to retire at the end of February after 40 years of ordained ministry, most of which has served in his home diocese of Norwich.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, said: “David Hayden has been a great servant to the Diocese of Norwich as the vicar of one of its most vigorous parishes for 18 years and Archdeacon of Norfolk since 2002. His passion for people to know the transforming love of Christ remains as vibrant now as when he was ordained 40 years ago.
“He has spearheaded our mission plans and taken the lead in making sure we use our church buildings well and keep them open for seven-day a week ministry. I wish him and his wife, Ruby every blessing in retirement and it’s good to know that they will still be in the Diocese, living in Oulton Broad where David was born and brought up.”
David Hayden said: “I have had the great privilege of serving in full-time ordained ministry for over 40 years and I feel that, as I will have been 65 for a whole month, the end of February 2012 is the right point to retire from my work as Archdeacon of Norfolk.
“I went from my home in Oulton Broad to selection in the 1960s and on retirement will be returning to that same home, except this time it will be in what was part of the garden as my elder daughter and son-in-law with their four children are in my old family house. My wife, Ruby, was also from Oulton Broad so it will be a lovely opportunity for us to catch up with old friends and family as well as making new friends.
“Since leaving Oulton Broad, and being prepared for ordination in Durham and Bristol, I have served in St Leonards on Sea, Galleywood near Chelmsford, then near Diss at Redgrave, Botesdale, Rickinghall Inferior and Rickinghall Superior before 18 years as Vicar of Cromer. Parish work was, and is, a great context in which to serve God and I had 30 years in parishes before Bishop Graham invited me in 2002 to be Archdeacon of Norfolk.
“It must be very unusual for an Archdeacon to be chosen to serve in an area which includes where he was brought up. The main perk of the job is to meet so many lovely people across the Archdeaconry, which takes in 290 churches, and to encourage and support them in their work of sharing God’s love within their communities. It has also been good to work as part of Bishop Graham’s Staff team.
“Some years ago Bishop Graham asked me to take on special responsibility for Church and Tourism. This has developed into The Churches Discovery Project. We have a huge number of wonderful medieval church buildings in this diocese and we are determined to get these churches open during the week and to do what we can to enrich the experience of those who visit, whether they come from the community or from around the world.
“I was also asked to work with a team to take forward mission in the Diocese and now we have a Diocesan Mission Strategy where each church is encouraged to be Committed to Growth in Discipleship, Service and Numbers.
“I am really grateful to God and to the people in this diocese who have made my time as Archdeacon such a memorable experience!”
There will be an opportunity to say farewell to David and Ruby at Evensong in Norwich Cathedral on Sunday 12 February at 3.30pm.
Pictured above is David Hayden (Photo: Barry Furness).