December 10 2013 Latest news:
The Most Revd Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, speaks to the crowd at the Forum during his visit to Norwich yesterday. With him is the Rt Revd Graham James,left, Bishop of Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley
Friday, August 30, 2013
After his successful visit to the city in March, the Archbishop of Canterbury has returned to Norwich for help as he recruits an important member of his staff.
The Ven Jan McFarlane, the Archdeacon of Norwich, has been seconded to Lambeth Palace to act as the Archbishop’s temporary press secretary this autumn, it was announced yesterday.
She will perform the role until a permanent appointment can be made, but insists she will not be leaving her work in Norwich behind – and hopes to be back in time for Christmas.
The move will see her reunited with her former fellow student at theological college – the Most Rev Justin Welby was in the year above Rev McFarlane as they completed their studies.
She is due to travel to Lambeth Palace tomorrow to begin her new role, which she described as “minding the gap” and developing the position ahead of a permanent appointment. Rev McFarlane said: “I’m really surprised, shocked and honoured to be asked to cover the position.
“I’m really looking forward to it, though it is daunting at the same time, not least with the Syria situation in the news.
“However, the chance to live and work in Lambeth Palace for a month is tremendous.”
But Rev McFarlane, 48, who is current diocesan director of communications, said the full-time role was not for her, and that she valued her work in Norwich too much to leave it behind permanently.
“In my heart of hearts, I’m a priest. This role is not a specifically priestly one, and I would like to stay within the diocesan system,” she said.
Crowds packed the streets of Norwich for the Archbishop’s visit on March 14, at the start of a five-day pilgrimage culminating in his enthronement as the head of the Church of England.
During the visit, he addressed hundreds of people at the Forum before leading them through the streets to the cathedral, where he led a prayer service.
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