Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Archdeacon Annette Cooper will retire in November

8th May 2018

The Venerable Annette Cooper, Archdeacon of Colchester in the Diocese of Chelmsford, has announced that she will be retiring in November 2018. 

Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, has said: 

“It is with huge sadness that we say goodbye to Archdeacon Annette. She has been a wonderful servant of Chelmsford Diocese. Her commitment to the Church in North Essex, her pioneering spirit, her pastoral heart and her attention to detail has meant that the diocese has been served by a Rolls Royce Archdeacon. We are thankful for all she has achieved.

“In areas of our life as diverse as safeguarding and church planting, Annette’s expertise and vision has enabled us to do new things and build a new culture. We will miss her hugely and wish her and Andy a long, happy and fulfilling retirement.”

There will be a Farewell Service for Annette in Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday 18 November 2018 at 3.30pm.

The Bishop of Colchester, Roger Morris, added:

“Annette is a pioneer. She has blazed a trail as a social worker, hospital chaplain, parish priest, Area Dean and Archdeacon. She was among the first women to be ordained priest in the Church of England, one of the first women to be appointed Archdeacon and one of the eight Regional Representatives attending meetings (as 'participant observers') of the House of Bishops.

“Her imagination and drive have paved the way for a number of exciting initiatives in the Colchester Episcopal Area. There is much that we celebrate as a church that would not have happened were it not for Annette and the quite remarkable gifts that she has.

“In addition to Annette’s pioneering spirit, she is also a generous, wise and caring pastor. There are countless examples of where Annette has gone the extra mile in showing love, care and compassion to those among whom she serves.

“She has been an amazing colleague and life will simply not be the same without her.”


Annette commented:

“It has been a real privilege to serve as the Archdeacon of Colchester since 2004, a time when we have seen great changes in the church and across our communities.
“Archdeacons are often thought of as only being involved with church buildings but this has only been a part of my experience.
“I have really loved helping people to change and grow in ministry both Lay and ordained. I have experienced great joy working with small rural churches as well as the churches in our fast growing towns.
“Together we have made clergy appointments, reimagined ministry, focused on mission and in some places launched Fresh Expressions of church to better share the gospel of Christ.
“As I prepare for retirement I want to thank many friends and colleagues for all we have shared. I will continue to pray for the churches, chaplaincies and Fresh Expressions of church in North Essex and across the diocese.”


More Information 

Annette Cooper was appointed Archdeacon of Colchester in 2004. Until the creation of Stansted Archdeaconry and the appointment of Robin King as the first Archdeacon of Stansted in 2013 she was the only Archdeacon serving the Colchester Episcopal Area.
Rt Revd Roger Morris succeeded Rt Revd Christopher Morgan as Bishop of Colchester in 2014.