As part of the P&P framework, we have consolidated our previous thirteen deaneries into six new larger deaneries. Each new deanery is better resourced with a full-time Area Dean, a half-time Support Officer and access to parish bookkeeping, church buildings and HR support services.
For more information and update on the six deaneries, please click on the links below.
Aston and Sutton Coldfield Deanery
Aston & Sutton Coldfield Deanery covers a ‘slice’ of the city region from one of the most deprived and industrial/post-industrial areas to the direct north of the city centre at the end of the A38M, where it meets the M6 expressway, an elevated stretch of motorway running across north-Birmingham. Moving further out it embraces the former Warwickshire Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield and some bordering rural and urban communities. In the Southern end of the deanery, you will find the various parishes of Aston and Erdington. These are crossed by fixed road boundaries such as the A38 and M6 motorway, which influence relationships and evangelistic possibilities. The further South you go, the less green space there is, and you find poorer residential housing, estates and industrial/post-industrial areas. The Northern and Eastern parts of the Deanery include the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, which may be part of Birmingham administratively, but it is not entirely “of” Birmingham with a range of socio-economic contexts; everything from gated mansions to social housing. There are first class schools and the delights of Sutton Park. This area is mostly fairly comfortable suburbia, but with one rural multi church benefice and one parish which largely comprises a North Birmingham outer estate.
The deanery has 18 parishes and 24 Churches with a variety of ministry provision including full-time stipendiary, SSM, Readers and a variety of local lay ministers, all collaborating with a large number of voluntary officers and ministry leaders in the churches. There are four Church of England Primary Schools in the Deanery.
Area Dean biography - Ann Richardson
Coleshill and Polesworth Deanery
The western edge of Coleshill and Polesworth Deanery is approx. 5 miles due East of Birmingham city centre, and then stretches further East through a combination of low-income outer estates and more affluent suburban neighbourhoods, moving out to the far North East where some of the most rural parts of the diocese are found. The vast majority of the land covered in this newly created Deanery is rural. However, the more urban parts of the Deanery are much more densely populated. This makes the geographic and socio-economic context of Coleshill and Polesworth Deanery extremely diverse. Indeed, the Deanery includes 4 Councils: Birmingham, Solihull, North Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
The Deanery is crossed by the M42 (North-South from North Warwickshire to Coleshill and Marston Green) and the M6 (West to East from Hodge Hill to Coleshill). There are large areas of green space, including the popular Kingsbury Waterpark. The villages range from affluent areas with gated properties to ex-mining communities where there are pockets of poverty. There is a large community of farmers across the areas in North Warwickshire and Staffordshire. Many of the rural parishes have been developed into multi-parish benefices, or multi-church parishes. Across the Deanery there are considerable medical, educational and recreational institutions. These includes 9 Church of England Primary Schools.
The deanery has 24 parishes / multi-parish benefices with 35 churches. There is a variety of ministry provision including full-time and part-time stipendiary, full-time and part-time SSM, Readers and a variety of local lay ministers, all collaborating with a large number of voluntary officers and ministry leaders in the churches. There is a celebrated diversity of worship style and tradition across the Deanery.
Area Dean biography - Louise Shaw
Handsworth and Central Deanery
Handsworth and Central Deanery covers the city Centre of Birmingham and the urban sprawl out to the northwest, through Lady wood, Handsworth as far as Great Barr and Kingstanding. This includes some areas of extreme deprivation, but also some more affluent areas, particularly in the newer city Centre developments. This a superdiverse deanery and there is a great ethnic and cultural mix with a whole range of backgrounds and faiths (including those of no faith.)
Across the deanery there are a considerable number of medical, educational, industrial and recreational institutions including City Hospital (and a brand-new super-hospital to be opened soon), the Alexander Stadium and the National Indoor Arena, both to be key venues in the Commonwealth Games 2022 as well as the International Convention Centre, Symphony Hall and the Bullring Shopping Centre. The deanery is home to Aston University and Birmingham City University, as well as a number of the UK’s large banking, financial services and legal firms. There are significant residential, industrial and infrastructure developments taking place in many parts of the deanery, including the introduction of a Clean Air Zone, which will affect the City Centre and the HS2 rail network.
It is hoped that the new Area Dean will be able to work with the deanery and represent the local churches to civic partners in consultation where local contexts are affected by these developments. There are 7 church primary schools within the deanery which enjoy close relationships with their churches; The deanery has 21 parishes with 23 Churches, which includes the cathedral, with 2 BMOs also meeting in the deanery. Some churches within the deanery are intentionally intercultural with diverse BAME representation amongst their leadership (lay and ordained) and with the liturgical provision being representative of and embracing the cultures of those who have found a home in these churches. A number of the churches have significant and growing numbers of Sudanese, Nigerian and Zimbabwean Christians and there are also new Christians of Iranian and Persian heritage. A number of the churches within the deanery would describe themselves as inclusive and three are signed up to the aims and objectives of “Inclusive Church.”
Area Dean biography - Fr Douglas Machiridza
Kings Norton, Moseley and Shirley Deanery
Area Dean - Revd Phelim O'Hare
Warley and Edgbaston Deanery
Area Dean biography - Mike Sermon
My name is Mike Sermon and I have been Area Dean of Warley and Edgbaston since 1st March 2021.
I was born in Birmingham where I have lived for much of my life. I am married to Silvia and have three grown-up children. It was in my twenties that faith became an increasingly significant part of my journey shaping and revealing what became a call and vocation into ministry. After a career in banking, I trained for ordination at Queen’s College Edgbaston serving my curacy at St Anne’s Church West Heath. My first incumbency was at St Paul’s Church Blackheath, in the Black Country. This later expanded to include the role of Oversight Minister and Priest in Charge at St James Church Rounds Green. My earliest ministry was as a youth leader, subsequently it has included Reader training, Training Incumbent, Bishops Examining Chaplain, Spiritual Director, membership of Diocesan Synod and as a Trustee on different charitable boards. I have a passion to see vocations discovered and released in the people around us and for our Anglican Cure of Souls commitment to be fully lived out in the service of our wider parish community.
I enjoy hiking and have completed several pilgrimages including one to Santiago de Compostela. I enjoy music and science fiction. I play snooker regularly and I am a longstanding supporter of Aston Villa familiar with the joys and sorrows that this brings!
Yardley and Solihull Deanery
Area Dean biography - Nick Parker
I have served as Area Dean since March 2021 and was attracted to this new role by the wonderful diversity of this new deanery – encompassing rural and urban, multiple ethnic and language groups, different faiths, areas of great wealth and significant deprivation – each with its particular gifting as well as challenges. An appreciation of diversity and the worldwide Church is central to my Christian journey which includes formative experiences with Church Mission Society in Nigeria, South India, Nepal and Derby. Most recently I have served the parishes of Coleshill and Maxstoke which for 15 years has been a happy home for me and my wife Helen, as well as to our children Matthew and Emma, not forgetting Mabel our Spaniel. Now we are in a way coming full circle, having served my curacy at St. Edburgha, Yardley – where Helen and I met – before marrying in 2002 and travelling to work at St. Mary, Eugene, Oregon (USA), which further broadened our horizons.
Alongside parish ministry I have enjoyed serving as ecumenical officer for CofE Birmingham, training incumbent, examining chaplain and as chair of the board of education’s Curriculum and RE Committee. I passionately believe that the Church must be mission focused, displaying all five marks in order to be relevant and engaged with the communities in which we serve.
My soul is fed by making music and the natural world – through which I find God speaking most powerfully. I look forward to sharing these passions whilst gaining as others share theirs – all in service of our faithful God who longs for all people to know life in all its fullness and for every community to flourish.
Meet the Area Deans
Revd Ann Richardson - Area Dean of Aston and Sutton Coldfield
Revd Louise Shaw - Area Dean of Coleshill and Polesworth
Revd Douglas Machiridza - Area Dean of Handsworth and Central
Revd Phelim O'Hare - Area Dean of Kings Norton, Moseley & Shirley
Revd Mike Sermon - Area Dean of Warley and Edgbaston
Revd Nick Parker - Area Dean for Yardley and Solihull