Bishop of Newcastle appoints next Archdeacon of Lindisfarne
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Christine Hardman is pleased to announce that the Reverend Prebendary Dr Catherine Sourbut Groves is to be the next Archdeacon of Lindisfarne.
Catherine, 52, is currently vicar at St Barnabas and St Peter’s in the Diocese of Bath and Wells and Prebendary of Wells Cathedral, and takes over from the Venerable Peter Robinson, who earlier this year moved to become Dean of Derby.
Her appointment comes at both an exciting and challenging time for the Diocese of Newcastle as it continues with its five year vision: growing church bringing hope, inspiring growth in worshipping communities across Northumberland, all of which are coming to terms with the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bishop Christine said: “Catherine is a joyful and positive person, with a lived faith and a passion to build understanding and relationships with the people she works with. Her ministry in the Diocese of Bath and Wells has been a creative and fruitful one as incumbent at St Barnabas, Bath, and St Peter’s Englishcombe, and as part of the diocesan vocations team and Magnificat Parishes group. I am delighted that she will be joining us as Archdeacon of Lindisfarne.
“Alongside the usual duties of an Archdeacon, Catherine will be taking the lead role for the Rural strand of our Diocesan strategy, and will be working closely with all of the parishes in the Lindisfarne Archdeaconry as we seek to take the next steps together in growing church bringing hope so that our ministry and mission to the communities we serve will grow and flourish.”
Commenting on her appointment, Catherine said: “When I think of Jesus, among the many positive adjectives that come to mind, ‘open, engaged and generous’ are at the top of the list. And when I contemplate the abundant life Jesus lived and offered us through his death, then I dream of vibrant growing communities, filled with hope and sharing that with all around them. So the values and vision of Newcastle Diocese resonated with me as soon as I heard that a new Archdeacon of Lindisfarne was needed.
“Having grown up in Yorkshire, I also realise I have lived in the South of England for far too long! So a return to the North East fills me with both the excitement of new beginnings and a sense of returning home to the North. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the people in the diverse hamlets, villages and towns of Lindisfarne Archdeaconry, learning about what God is doing among you and the ways you are engaging with that, and playing my part in supporting the clergy and lay leaders in their mission and ministry.
“For now, I will mostly be based in the Archdeacon’s office at Church House in North Shields, and will be meeting people via Zoom, WhatsApp, phone etc, but I’m praying for a slowing of the virus and an easing of restrictions so I can get out and about in the archdeaconry and see as many people as I can face to face as soon as possible.”
Catherine is married to Mike and has two grown up children. Brought up in Yorkshire, Catherine spent her gap year after school working her way around Europe before studying a degree in modern languages at the University of Bath. She later trained at Sarum College Salisbury (2004–2007) on a course very similar to the one offered at the Lindisfarne College of Theology, and completed an MA during her curacy which explored barriers to faith in late-modern and post-modern culture. She served her curacy in three villages in Somerset: Saltford, Corston and Newton St Loe, before returning to Bath Deanery in 2011 to be incumbent of a benefice south of the river, St Barnabas and St Peter’s, in an area of social and economic disadvantage. Additional roles during her nine years of incumbency have included being Chaplain to the Mayor of Bath, Diocesan Vocations Chaplain, Archdeaconry Advisor on Women’s Ministry, and co-leader of the ‘Magnificat Parishes Group’ serving those parishes with particularly high levels of disadvantage.
A focus of Catherine’s ministry has been being a voice for those on the margins and an encourager for those who have experienced the harsher side of life.