This evening, at Newcastle Cathedral, seven new Canons were collated by Bishop Christine and installed by the Dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend Geoff Miller.
- Mrs Jane Lowdon and Ms Ruth Rogan as Lay Canons
- Mr Paul Rickeard as Ecumenical Canon
- and the Reverend Dr Jennifer Cooper, the Reverend Sarah Lunn, the Reverend Jeremy Thompson, and the Reverend Simon White as Honorary Canons
Jennifer Cooper whose stall will be that of St Chad. Theology has been Jennifer’s passion and work for the better part of forty years – first in Canada and since 1996, here in the UK where she was ordained in 2007. In 2019 she came to the Northeast to take on the role of Director for Initial Ministerial Education for Newcastle and Durham Dioceses. Jennifer is research Fellow in Theology, Campion Hall, Oxford and Visiting Fellow St Chad’s College Durham. A Canadian by birth she is a true northerner and has a deep love for the Northeast and the Diocese of Newcastle.’
Jane Lowdon whose stall will be that of Mary Astell. Jane was born and brought up in the North East and has lived in Newcastle for over 40 years. She qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and was first introduced to ecclesiastical law in 1986 by Rodney Nicholson, her predecessor as diocesan registrar. Jane was appointed diocesan registrar and legal advisor to the bishop when he retired in 1995. She held the role until her own retirement in 2021, having served under three diocesan bishops. Now Jane is no longer working, she has more time to enjoy hill walking and cycling, her favourite pastimes.
Sarah Lunn whose stall will be that of St Ethelberga. Sarah was born in Cullercoats and spent her early life in the North East before moving to Lancaster to study music and then Librarianship. She felt called to ordination from the age of 11 and was eventually ordained in Carlisle Cathedral in 2002. Sarah served her curacy in the rural parishes around Kirkby Lonsdale before spending time as Rural Officer for the Diocese of Carlisle and Priest in charge of a large group of parishes around Appleby. She moved back to Northumberland in 2018 to be Priest in Charge of the Chollerton Benefice, and is now Area Dean of Bellingham Deanery and Diocesan Rural Advisor in this Diocese. Sarah is passionate about music, rural life, Christian ministry and breeding rare breeds of sheep, cats, ducks and Pilgrim geese.
Paul Rickeard whose stall will be that appointed to Ecumenical Canons. Paul was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, married to Liane and dad to Jack, Harry and Tom; step dad to Holly and Tess. Paul studied Theology and Ministry in Durham and for the last twenty years has worked in education before becoming Director of Education for the Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle six years ago. When Paul is not doing his day job or spending time with the family, he can be found catching and ringing mute swans as part of a local Swan Study group.
Ruth Rogan whose stall will be that of Josephine Butler. Born near Manchester, Ruth studied at Birmingham University before starting a social work career. She subsequently worked in local authorities and the children’s voluntary sector before becoming a senior manager with Newcastle City Council between 2000 and 2013. She was passionate about supporting women in the work place through coaching and mentoring and since 2014 has had a spiritual direction ministry. Ruth has been an engaged member of the church all her life, worshipping at the Cathedral and St James and St Basil’s since moving to Newcastle in 1985. She has worked alongside three bishops on a range of issues including Faith in the City, Ministerial Review and Safeguarding. Between 2014 and 2020 she was Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser before retiring in March this year. Married to Liam, she has two daughters Emma and Claire and a grand-daughter, Caitlin.
Jeremy Thompson whose stall will be that of St Oswin. Jeremy is a local lad, having lived and worked in Newcastle and Northumberland all his life. He spent his early working life as an antique clock restorer and clockmaker. It was in the process of creating that he found God and still does. His path to ordination was neither quick nor certain, however, Bishop Kenneth deemed it right to lay hands on him 25 years ago this year. He served his title in Bedlington; St. Cuthbert, before moving up the road to take responsibility for Choppington; St. Paul. In 2008, Bishop Martin asked him to take over as Clergy Major Incident Plan co-ordinator and to become the Rector of St. John Lee, Warden and Newbrough. He has since laid down the MIP Coordinator role and has been for the last five years Area Dean of Hexham – a role which he has recently laid down. He has been married to Gill for over 40 years and they have four adult children William, Alex, Robin, and Eliza and five small grandsons.
Simon White whose stall will be that of St James the Deacon. Born in Macclesfield and brought up in Hertfordshire, Simon became a Christian whilst studying design at Newcastle College. He was a parishioner at St Georges Jesmond, where he was tower captain in the bell chamber and where he met his wife Jane. After finally giving in to God’s constant call, he sold his Design consultancy business of 10 years to study theology at St Johns College. He was ordained at Newcastle Cathedral and served his title in St Michaels Alnwick. He was then appointed Diocesan Youth Officer and Priest in Charge of Felton, Longframlington and Brinkburn, where he developed the diocesan youth camp “Staying Alive”, now in its 14th year. He was made Rector of Morpeth in 2013 and is still active with a number of children and youth charities. He is a trustee of The 3 Rivers Trust which now has 8 schools and is active in the Scout and Boys Brigade. He and his wife Jane are part of the Anglican Marriage Encounter clergy team and he is Lead for Northumberland County Council Chaplaincy. Simon and Jane, have four children, Ben, Beth, Jack & Josh, and 1 grandchild with another on the way.