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Archdeacon of Carlisle relinquishes his post

09 September 2022

DIOCESE OF CARLISLE

The Ven. Lee Townend

The Ven. Lee Townend

THE Archdeacon of Carlisle, the Ven. Lee Townend, has stepped down with immediate effect, the diocese has said, to spend more time with his family.

Archdeacon Townend, who joined the diocese in 2017, said that he would be taking a year out of full-time stipendiary ministry, and that he was “blessed to be in a position to step away for a short period. Covid has given many of us the chance to re-evaluate life and focus on what’s important in the now.

“We are very blessed to be in a position to step away for a short season in order to be nearer family before moving back into full time ministry in the future.”

He said that he and his wife, Liz, planned to move back to his home county of Derbyshire to be closer to grandchildren and their parents, although they will stay in the diocese of Carlisle until the end of the year.

“We have enjoyed our time in Cumbria, but, since the end of lockdown, Liz and I have been praying and thinking through where God is calling us to. We have recently become grandparents to two baby grandsons, and have older parents who we’ve hardly seen in the last six years, due to distance. Therefore, we felt that God was nudging us to move back to our home county and be available for family in the short term.

“Our decision wasn’t taken lightly, as we both enjoy our roles here, but decided that we must follow the calling of God.”

Archdeacon Townsend joined the diocese to be an archdeacon from his previous position as Derby Diocesan Missioner. He also took on the post of Strategic Development Officer, and was a trustee of the Carlisle Diocesan Board of Finance. From October 2020, he also became priest-in-charge of four parishes.

A spokesman for the diocese said that it would make no further comment on Archdeacon Townend’s departure.

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, said: “It has been wonderful to work alongside Lee for nearly six years; he has been a valued member of our senior leadership team. . . Lee has always served the parishes of his archdeaconry and the God for All vision with equal passion.”

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