Archdeacon of Norwich set to be made a bishop
The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich, as the sixth Suffragan Bishop of Repton in the Diocese of Derby and the ninth female bishop in the Church of England. Keith Morris reports.
Jan will be consecrated as a bishop by the Archbishop of Canterbury on Wednesday 29 June in London and will begin her ministry in Derbyshire later in the summer.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, said, “Jan is greatly loved and much admired in the Diocese of Norwich. She has been a fine communicator of the Christian faith in the local and regional media, and an archdeacon who has won the confidence and affection of lay people alike. We will miss her enormously in this diocese but we are thrilled that she has been called to be a bishop in God’s church.”
"She has been a very familiar voice and face in the local and regional media and greatly appreciated for her clarity of mind, quickness of wit and vigorous exposition of the Christian faith,” said Bishop Graham.
"It will be little surprise to many who know Jan well that she has been chosen to be a bishop. It seemed unlikely a couple of years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer, but it is a huge blessing that she has come through her surgery and treatment so well and is now in such good health.”
The Archdeacon of Norwich said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been invited to become the next Bishop of Repton, and I’m looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead. But it will be very hard indeed to leave Norfolk where I have spent 16 very happy years working alongside first rate colleagues both in the church and in the local media. I have been proud to have been archdeacon of such a fine city and will miss this county and its people more than I can say.”
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern said: “I am delighted to welcome Jan McFarlane to the Diocese as the new Bishop of Repton. She brings an enormous range of gifts and skills to this task. I look forward to working with her as a colleague. This is a challenging moment for the Church of England and I am confident of the rich possibilities for the mission of this Diocese.”
Jan (age 51) was educated at Blythe Bridge High School in Stoke on Trent and then at Sheffield University, where she read for a medical degree specialising in Speech Science. Following a number of years as a speech and language therapist in North Staffordshire, she read theology at St John’s College, Durham and trained for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham.
Jan served her first curacy at Stafford in the Diocese of Lichfield from 1993 to 1996 and was among the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in 1994. From 1996 to 1999 she was Chaplain and Minor Canon at Ely Cathedral.
Since 1999 she has been Director of Communications in the Diocese of Norwich. From 2001 to 2009 Jan served as Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich and has been Archdeacon of Norwich since 2009. She combines her role as Archdeacon with the posts of Director of Communications and Warden of Readers. She has been a member of the General Synod since 2005.
Jan is married to Andrew Ridoutt, a television cameraman and has contributed to several books of prayers and reflections for Church House Publishing and broadcasts regularly on local radio.
A date and time for a leaving service for Jan in Norwich Cathedral will be publicised in due course.
Pictured above, Ven Jan McFarlane already getting into her new role.
Hear Jan talk about her time in Norfolk and her new role on BBC Radio Norfolk, start at 1.09hrs.
Below, hear the new Bishop of Repton talk about her role.