The Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, has been appointed Canon Pastor at Durham Cathedral.
Archdeacon Michael – who is a Lancaster Guardian columnist –has served in Blackburn Diocese for almost 27 years in a variety of roles and has been, in the words of Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, ‘a faithful colleague, priest and friend’.
Durham Cathedral has been a place of worship, welcome and hospitality for nearly 1,000 years and is a World Heritage Site, one of the UK’s premier visitor attractions and is regarded as the finest Norman building in Europe.
To date, Archdeacon Michael has served all his ministry in the Diocese of Blackburn, apart from a three year secondment to Link Diocese, the Free State, in South Africa.
He has been a Curate, a University Chaplain, Rector of Standish, Priest-in-Charge at Appley Bridge All Saints; Area Dean of Chorley Deanery, Archdeacon of Lancaster from 2011 to present and most recently he was also Vicar of Preston Minster during a period of vacancy.
Archdeacon Michael said: “It has been a tremendous honour to serve God through Blackburn Diocese and it has been a privilege to serve it over the last eight years as Archdeacon. The Diocese and Lancashire will remain in my daily prayers and close to my heart.
“I am humbled and excited by the prospect of being part of St Cuthbert’s community in Durham. My role is to be pastor to the cathedral congregations; to lead the cathedral’s engagement with schools, children, the university and students and to lead the work in connection with the libraries and collections of the Cathedral, including the Durham Gospels and St Cuthbert’s Cross.
“Two of the wonderful opportunities I have had over the last few years have been my involvement with the Lancaster Guardian and Lancashire Post. It has been a joy to work with them and to lead the Lancashire Post’s Carol Services at Preston Minster. It has also been a privilege to write just short of 100 (so far!) columns for the Lancaster Guardian; columns which are often shared with their sister papers elsewhere in the county.
“The engagement of our excellent local media with my ministry in many different situations has always been a great blessing and I thank God for their skills and talents.”
Bishop Julian said: “It’s a sad day for the Diocese of Blackburn to lose a faithful colleague, priest and friend, who has served here for 27 years in a variety of roles.
“But it’s a good day for Michael and his wife Ruth, as they launch out into a new ministry in a new diocese.”
Rt Rev Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, said: “Michael has been an outstanding colleague and will be greatly missed. He has brought breadth and depth to the senior team.”
Rt Rev Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster, added: “Michael has a pastor’s heart and a pastor’s encyclopaedic memory. We will miss him very much in Blackburn Diocese.”
There will be a service of thanksgiving for Michael and Ruth’s ministry in the Diocese at 6pm on July 13 in the cathedral, to which all are invited, while Michael will be installed as Canon Pastor in Durham Cathedral on September 22 at 3.30pm.