Bishop names new Archdeacon of Norfolk
The Revd Canon Steven Betts (47) has been appointed to be the next Archdeacon of Norfolk. By the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James. He will succeed the Venerable David Hayden who retires at the end of February.
The Bishop of Norwich said: “Canon Steven Betts is one of the most respected and widely known clergy in the Diocese and I’m delighted he has accepted my invitation to be the next Archdeacon of Norfolk. Steven came to this diocese to be Chaplain to my predecessor, Peter Nott, in 1994 and then was a well-loved vicar of Old Catton for eight years from 1997. Since then he has had responsibility for all candidates for ordination in the Diocese and for the initial training of our newly ordained clergy as well as serving as an elected member of General Synod and as Chair of the House of Clergy in this diocese.
“His pastoral gifts, administrative skill and strategic intelligence will all be well used in his new work. His longing for the Church to be a vibrant and hopeful messenger of the good news of Jesus Christ has been demonstrated in all he has done in his ministry. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”
Canon Betts said: “I am delighted to accept Bishop Graham’s invitation to serve as Archdeacon of Norfolk. The Archdeaconry covers the east and south of the Diocese and has some talented clergy and committed lay people, and I look forward to supporting them in their mission and ministry to serve their local communities.
“Archdeacons are often asked to assist with finance and buildings, so I hope to quickly appreciate the challenges and opportunities in this part of Norfolk and Waveney. I feel that the Church in our Diocese is in good heart and I hope and pray that I can make some contribution as Archdeacon so that we can together understand where God is leading us in the future.”
There are three archdeacons in the Diocese of Norwich, which covers Norfolk and Waveney. The Archdeacon of Lynn (John Ashe), the Archdeacon of Norwich (Jan McFarlane) and the Archdeacon of Norfolk.
Archdeacons of Norfolk can be traced back to 1127. An archdeacon is a senior priest, with responsibility for the legal and administrative aspects of the Diocese as well as sharing with the bishop in the care of the clergy. An archdeacon is often described as oculus episcopi,- the bishop's eye!
Steven will be collated and installed as Archdeacon of Norfolk in Norwich Cathedral on Sunday April 29 at 3.30pm.
Pictured above is Canon Steven Betts outside the church of St Remigius, Hethersett, which is in the Archdeaconry of Norfolk. Picture by Gordon Darley.