The Archbishop of York has appointed the Reverend Samantha Rushton, Diocesan Adviser for Licensed Ministry, Warden of Readers, Area Dean of Chippenham and Associate Minister of the North Chippenham Group of Churches in the Diocese of Bristol, as the next Archdeacon of Cleveland.

In addition to her role as Archdeacon of Cleveland, Samantha will hold the diocesan-wide portfolio of Warden of Readers.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “It is fantastic to be able to welcome Sam to the team. These are exciting times for the Diocese of York as we seek to grow as generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples. Sam brings with her a wealth of experience both inside and outside the Church and will be a great encouragement to us all as we seek to make Christ visible together in all that we do”.

The Reverend Samantha Rushton said: “I’m delighted to accept my new role as Archdeacon of Cleveland. It will be a great pleasure to build on the work that Bishop Paul has already started and to get to know people and places which are new to me. I am especially looking forward to experiencing the spirituality of the North East and learning more about the pioneering ministry of St Hilda – a lovely echo of my undergraduate days in Oxford”.

The Rt Revd Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon, said, “Having worked closely with Sam over the past seven years, I have witnessed at first hand her rich mix of personal and organisational skills. As our Adviser for Licensed Ministry, Sam has played a key role during a period when we have seen record numbers of men and women offering themselves for authorised ministries.

“In the various roles Sam has taken on in the Diocese, such as Area Dean, Warden of Readers and Bishop’s Chaplain, she has regularly demonstrated her potential to serve the Church in a post of wider responsibility. It is no surprise to us that Sam has been appointed as an Archdeacon; her particular gifts for holding together the big picture without losing touch with the smaller one will be well used in the service of the Lord Jesus.

“Here in the Diocese of Bristol we shall very much miss Sam’s vibrant faith, her enquiring mind and her humour. We shall also be sorry to say goodbye to Sam’s husband, Peter, who in recent years has contributed so much to our training of Licensed Lay Ministers. Our loss is York’s gain and we commend their new Archdeacon to the people and parishes of Cleveland.”

The Revd Samantha Rushton will be collated and licensed as Archdeacon of Cleveland on 6 May 2015 at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Pickering at 7.30pm. She succeeds the Venerable Paul Ferguson, who became Bishop of Whitby in July 2014.

Samantha studied for an MA in Pure and Applied Biology at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and worked in the banking sector, latterly as Head of Customer Service Improvement Programme for Lloyds TSB Business Banking, before her call to ordination. She studied Theology at Trinity College, Bristol, was ordained deacon in 2005 and priested in 2006. She served her title at Highworth with Hannington, Sevenhampton & Inglesham, and Broad Blunsdon in the Diocese of Bristol.

She is married to Peter and they have two children, Matthew and Adam.