Photos, powerpoint and the sermon from the service are at the bottom of this page.
The Revd Simon Heathfield is welcomed as Archdeacon of Aston at a service at Birmingham Cathedral today, Sunday 16 November.
As the Team Rector of Walthamstow, East London and Area Dean of Waltham Forest, Simon 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 the Midlands 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, his public 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
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.”
Click here to download the PowerPoint presentation put together for the service.
Click here to listen to the sermon by Penny Franks.