“Praying with you, encouraging you, and working alongside you in the power of the spirit... so the word can find a place to settle and bear fruit...”

This was part of Sam Rushton's description of her task as Archdeacon of York, as she preached during the service in Selby Abbey on the 19th October to celebrate her new appointment and commit her ministry to God.

“We try to clear the obstacles from your path so you are free to scatter the words of God far and near,” she said.

Sam knows what she's talking about, having served four years as Archdeacon of Cleveland before her move south.

Bishop of Selby Dr John Thomson, who led the service, said, “Sam is already an experienced Archdeacon with a firm faith and a passion for sharing it, as well as a background in banking that gives her a firm grasp of the practical challenges facing parish churches in the 21st Century.

Sam continued, “I promise to stand alongside you when you fall out with one another... to disentangle the nettles and thorns of mishearing and misspeaking!”