The Bishop of Birmingham is delighted to announce that the Revd Simon Heathfield has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Aston and will take up the post in Autumn 2014.
As the Team Rector of Walthamstow, East London and Area Dean of Waltham Forest, he has wide experience of urban parish ministry particularly addressing issues of financial debt, educational provision, community cohesion and mission development. Simon said of his appointment:
'Cities are a taste of heaven! I love seeing people of all ages, cultures and circumstances find and share God's love amidst the real challenges all communities face. I'm excited to return to Birmingham to serve in this role and support local churches making a real difference for all people.'
Originally from London and the South East Simon holds degrees in both music and theology from Birmingham and Cambridge respectively. Following varied roles including as a Royal Air Force officer, insurance manager and auxiliary nurse, Christian ministry started as a church and community youth worker in North Kent and Oxford. Ordained in 1999, Simon served a curacy on the Wirral in Chester Diocese before moving to CPAS with a national brief to encourage vocations and develop leadership. He has a passion for working to see God transform communities facing deprivation, helping people find their vocation and equipping the church for ministry and has published several training resources including co-authoring Growing Leaders (2nd ed.2011).
The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell said of Simon:
"The Birmingham Diocese is fortunate to get such a gospel centred, creative and strategic person to serve on their senior team. Here in the Chelmsford Diocese we will really miss Simon, but we wish him and his family our best wishes and prayers and thank him for the service he has given."
Simon is married to Rachel, a Church of England ordinand, and they have 10-year-old twins. Together they love films, motorbikes, springer spaniels, good food and the company of friends and particularly love the beaches and hills of Pembrokeshire.
Bishop David said of the appointment:
“Simon joins a strong team excited about spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ across our diverse region. The Church of England - Birmingham's Transforming Church strategy has just been boosted by a large new fund towards 'Growing Younger', with which Simon will be closely involved in the Archdeaconry of Aston. His parish and wider mission and learning experience will be invaluable in supporting and growing the local church. I very much look forward to welcoming him, with his family, back to Birmingham and to having him as a colleague.”