The new Archdeacon of Cleveland was formally collated into her new role in a private, spatially-distanced ceremony outside the home of the Bishop of Whitby on the 15th June 2020.

Normally the collation would take place during a public service of thanksgiving and dedication at a church within the Archdeaconry of Cleveland (the Church of England in South Teesside, the North York Moors, and the Vales of Mowbray and Pickering), but this is impossible due to measures taken in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Revd Dr Amanda Bloor, previously Vicar of Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, was appointed to the role of Archdeacon of Cleveland in March, in succession to the Venerable Sam Rushton who has moved to the post of Archdeacon of York.

The Archdeacon of Cleveland works closely with the Bishop of Whitby in overseeing the outreach, mission and worship of approximately 150 parishes, and undertakes a great deal of administrative and legal work to support them in their work and mission.

During her collation ceremony, the new Archdeacon will swore oaths of obedience to The Queen and the Archbishop of York, and received a legal Deed of Collation within sight and earshot of the Bishop of Whitby, the Rt Revd Paul Ferguson; each collected formal documents from the other in a procedure approved by the legal officers of the Diocese of York.

Shortly after the ceremony the new Archdeacon returned home and joined a meeting of church leaders by online video link.

This is believed to be the first time such an event has been managed this way in the Church of England.

Amanda Bloor said, “I’ve been so looking forward to getting to work, and to begin learning about the people and places of Cleveland and Middlesbrough.

“It’s been a very long three months and at times it’s been hard to believe we would overcome all the obstacles and actually get here at all – but God is good, and thanks to Bishop Paul and those working with him, we have found a way.”

Bishop Paul Ferguson said, “Welcoming Amanda has been a wonderfully happy and prayerful moment, and a great relief that she can join us and get to work in supporting the extraordinary work being done during the COVID-19 outbreak by all our churches in their communities, and of course looking to the future when the current restrictions are lifted.

“This was a strange way to greet Amanda and Mark, but I thank God they are finally here and look forward to their presence among us in the coming years.”