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Friday, 21 July 2017

Farewell to Catherine Jackson our Appointments Secretary

Catherine with Area Dean Medhat Sabry at Tangiers Interviews
Today is the last day for Catherine Jackson in her work as Appointments Secretary of the Diocese in Europe. Catherine has been serving this diocese in this position for almost 5 years now, and has been an integral part of the team serving the needs of our congregations.

Over these past years, she has overseen more than 100 appointments to our congregations, some of them very complex indeed. She has brought to the appointments process a youthful, competent and committed approach, always in line with modern HR standards. Her professional manner is something which so many of the laity of the diocese have commented on in my conversations with them. She has come to know, almost instinctively, the real and deep needs of a parish, and the anxieties which often worry clergy who are seeking an appointment with us.

Bishop's Staff studying Catherine's Appointments Report
A scattered diocese like ours requires clear and consistent ways of operating and Catherine continued to administer an efficient system to oversee the vacancy process, which requires dozens of steps, from the moment of resignation of the priest, to the moment of licensing of his or her successor. I know that the Archdeacons, Area Deans, and parish reps have relied on her to keep the whole process moving and for advice when problems occur. The needs of our churches are very varied, of course, and she has developed ways to tailor specific appointment pathways to meet particular needs, while always maintaining fairness for the prospective candidates and standards of equality and good process. An example of this is how, many years back, she pioneered the occasional "on-site" interview (as opposed to the interview being in London), when this is appropriate for the candidate or candidates and the congregation itself.

With members of Diocesan Synod in Cologne
Catherine has long considered this post as more than a job. For her it has been vocational. Thus, beyond her professional work as Appointments Secretary she has sought to enrich our diocesan life in other ways particularly through her music. Catherine is a gifted singer. She has performed at many services at diocesan events as well as at more lighthearted gatherings around the diocese.

In the Cathedral in Gibraltar
A pop-up talent show at an Archdeaconry Synod
Catherine tells me that she has found the diocese an "exciting place to be". She is impressed with the way our clergy and people "understand ecumenism in a very deep way" and and how, as a diocese, we have developed an "outstanding ministry to people from very different backgrounds". She has appreciated that the clergy and laity with whom she has worked "love what they are doing".

Well Catherine, we know that you have loved what you have been doing as well. And we will miss you and wish you every blessing in your new job, with the Department of International Trade.


  1. how fortunate the diocese has been to have had such pure hearted service from a young Christian woman in this position. Surely she will leave a legacy to build on and no doubt will be missed by those who recognised her gifts and contribution to the diocesan life.

  2. Kenneth Dimmick22 July 2017 at 06:56

    She was a great asset to the diocese. She will be missed.