Richard Whaite licensed as new Director of Mission and Ministry

First published on: 19th March 2024

On Sunday 17 March, our new Director of Mission and Ministry, the Revd Dr Richard Whaite, was licensed by Bishop Helen-Ann during a service at Newcastle Cathedral, where he was also installed as a Canon of the Cathedral.

As a member of Bishop Helen-Ann’s senior leadership team, Ric now holds a lead responsibility for developing and overseeing the discipleship and ministry strategy for the Diocese, including the training and equipping of lay and ordained leaders. He will also encourage and enable mission and practical evangelism in the parishes and deaneries, and support them in the Diocesan vision ‘Seeking, Sharing, Sending’.

Commenting on his new role, Ric said: "It is a privilege to serve alongside the people of this Diocese as we begin to explore ‘Seeking, Sharing, Sending’ in the context of the nearly 150 years of the faithful witness of this Diocese to God's abiding love. I hope together we find deep joy in discerning the many gifts God offers to each of us in our journeys, as well as wisdom and humility in sharing those gifts with all whom we encounter.”

Bishop Helen-Ann said: “Ric brings to our Diocese a wealth of experience and wisdom from his time in Chester, as well as great enthusiasm, and I am grateful that he has chosen to join us during this exciting time for our Diocese as we seek to turn outwards in mission and become younger and more diverse. I very much look forward to working with Ric as we develop our strategies and training for mission and ministry.”

Prior to joining the Diocese of Newcastle, Ric was Rector of St Mary Without-the-Walls in Chester and also served on the Diocesan Committee for Ministry in Chester (as Assistant Diocesan Director of Vocations) and on the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches. During his time in Chester, Ric taught modern doctrine and historical theology in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chester, as well as on diocesan lay and ordained ministry training courses. 

Educated in History and Theology in London, Oxford, Manchester and the United States, Ric was previously Chaplain at University College in Durham and served in parochial ministry in the Kensington Episcopal Area of the Diocese of London. He was born and grew up in Stockport.

Dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend Lee Batson welcomes Ric’s arrival: “Ric is now a Canon in our Cathedral and we are very excited to welcome him to our Diocese. The Cathedral has undergone significant change with our recent multi-million pound refurbishment and he is joining us at a really exciting time as we discern how we can be an even stronger resource to the wider Diocese as it witnesses to the love of God.”

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