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

New Archdeacon of Chelmsford appointed

6th Dec 2015

Revd Elizabeth Snowden will bring grass roots experience and nurture church growth 
The Revd Elizabeth Snowden, currently Vicar of Bestwood Emmanuel with St Mark and Area Dean of Nottingham North Deanery in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Chelmsford. 

Elizabeth will begin her ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford at the end of March 2016.

She will succeed the Venerable David Lowman who is retiring after 15 years as an Archdeacon in the diocese.
 The Right Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford has said:

“I very much look forward to welcoming Elizabeth and her husband Geoff to Chelmsford Diocese. Elizabeth comes with great experience as a Parish Priest and an Area Dean.

She knows how to make church work at the grassroots; and growth won't really come from anywhere else. In her new role as Archdeacon of Chelmsford she will help our parishes to flourish.”

 The Revd Elizabeth Snowden added:

“I am excited to be joining an outstanding senior staff team as the diocese seeks to realise and implement the aims of Transforming Presence and Transforming Leadership.

I am also intrigued by the influence of the Saxon Bishop Cedd here, whilst his young brother Chad did similar work in the diocese where I was ordained in Lichfield.”

Welcoming the appointment, the Right Revd John Wraw, the Area Bishop of Bradwell said:

“I am delighted that Elizabeth has agreed to be the new Archdeacon of Chelmsford and look forward to welcoming her and Geoff to Essex and East London.

She brings a wealth of practical experience of ordinary parish life together with a real commitment to mission and the growth of God’s kingdom.”

The Rt Revd Paul Williams, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, said:

“I am delighted that the Diocese of Chelmsford will soon be benefiting from the calm wisdom, spiritual depth and vision for growth that has characterised Elizabeth’s ministry as Vicar of Emmanuel with St Mark Bestwood and Area Dean of Nottingham North.

“We shall be very sorry indeed to say farewell to such a valuable member of our diocesan leadership, but once again we are thrilled to be supporting the growth of the church in other parts of the country. We wish Elizabeth and Geoffrey every blessing in this new venture.” 

More information

1. Elizabeth Snowden

Elizabeth Snowden has been Priest-in-Charge of the parishes of Emmanuel and St Mark in Bestwood, Nottinghamshire over the last five years and is currently Area Dean of Nottingham North Deanery.

She has worked closely with four other parishes in Bestwood, two of which are Methodist-Anglican Local Ecumenical Partnerships. Bestwood is a large outer urban estate, with St Mark’s being located in an ex-mining village which is seeing large housing developments take place. Her work has focused on joining people together in mission across a large outer urban estate.

In her role as Area Dean Elizabeth’s focus is on building relationships between clergy and lay people across the deanery.

She became Resident Minister at Holy Trinity Clayhanger, a ‘replanted’ congregation in a church school and Youth and Children’s Worker in the Parish of St James Brownhills after serving her curacy in Burntwood, South Staffordshire.

She studied Geography, taught both Geography and Economics to Advanced Level and was ordained in 2001 after training at Queen’s Theological College in Birmingham.

Elizabeth is married to Geoff and is a mother of four. 

2. Collation and Installation

The Revd Elizabeth Snowden will be ‘Collated and Installed’ (or admitted at a special Service) as Archdeacon of Chelmsford in Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday 13 March 2016 at 3.30 pm.

3. Role of an Archdeacon

An Archdeacon is responsible for the administration of an Archdeaconry which is a part of an Episcopal Area and comprises a number of Deaneries.

4. The Archdeaconry and Episcopal Area

Elizabeth’s new Archdeaconry, Chelmsford, comprises the Deaneries of Brentwood, Chelmsford North, Chelmsford South, and Maldon & Dengie.
The Archdeaconry of Chelmsford is part of the ‘Bradwell Episcopal Area’ (or the Bishop of Bradwell’s Area).

5. Transforming Presence and Transforming Leadership

‘Transforming Presence’ is the big vision of the Diocese of Chelmsford to ‘transform and be transformed’ – transforming the Church for the transformation of the world. It sets out the strategic priorities for the Diocese to the year 2025: inhabiting the world distinctively; re-imagining ministry; evangelising effectively; and serving with accountability. For more information please see
A report called ‘Transforming Leadership’ was the basis for a decision to create additional Archdeacon posts, one for each Bishop’s Area (Barking, Bradwell and Colchester) in order to bring leadership closer to the parishes. The Archdeaconry of Chelmsford was created as part of this pastoral reorganisation in 2013.

6. St Cedd

St Cedd was a missionary Bishop who brought Christianity to the East Saxons in AD 654. St St Cedd’s Chapel at Bradwell-on-Sea is within the Archdeaconry of Chelmsford.

7. The Diocese of Chelmsford

The Diocese of Chelmsford, ‘the Church of England in East London and Essex,’ is led by Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, assisted by three Area Bishops (Barking, Bradwell and Colchester), seven Archdeacons (Barking, Chelmsford, Colchester, Harlow, Southend, Stansted and West Ham) and the Dean of Chelmsford (who leads and directs the life and work of Chelmsford Cathedral).
The Diocese is a Church region of more than 1,500 square miles that stretches from the East coast to the Thames and ranges from countryside to towns and suburbs.
It comprises the county of Essex, the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock, and the east London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.  
With a population of nearly 3 million people Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in England.
About 5,300 children and adults a year are welcomed into the Christian faith through baptism, and about 900 are confirmed in the Diocese.
About six in ten people in Essex and East London say they are Christian.
The Diocese is the largest voluntary organisation in East London and Essex.
The average weekly church attendance of adults, young people and children is 37,500 in the Diocese. An estimated further 5,700 adults and children attend a ‘Fresh Expressions of Church’. Fresh Expressions are new forms of church such as Messy Church (an all-age family event), Café and Pub Church, Network Church or church specifically for youth or elderly people.
There are around 1,900 weddings in the Diocese and 5,600 funeral or cremation services a year.
The Diocese comprises 462 parishes, 319 benefices, 594 churches and 352 stipendiary clergy.
Nearly 30,000 children and young people attend 141 church schools.
An estimated 100,000 young people share in assemblies, chaplaincy, clubs and youth work.

8. The Bradwell Episcopal Area

The Bradwell Episcopal Area (the Bishop of Bradwell’s Area) covers all of south Essex, from the Dartford Crossing to Southend in the east and Maldon and Chelmsford to the north.

 The Bradwell Area is named after the village of Bradwell-on-Sea where St Cedd built a chapel as he began his mission (see above).

Within Bradwell's boundaries are some 138 parishes and 182 church buildings.

Bradwell has nine deaneries in two Archdeaconries:

The Archdeaconry of Southend with the deaneries of Basildon, Hadleigh, Southend, Thurrock and Rochford.
The Archdeaconry of Chelmsford with the deaneries of Brentwood, Chelmsford North, Chelmsford South and Maldon & Dengie. 

It includes the City of Chelmsford, the town of Southend-on-Sea, the largest urban conurbation in Essex; plus Brentwood, Basildon, Thurrock and Tilbury Docks.

There are heavily urbanized areas of all types; plus some rural villages around Chelmsford, Brentwood and Southend and on the Dengie Peninsula.

The population is 958,380 (2014 census).

Church Electoral Rolls: 16,898 church members (2014 figure).

There are 334 licensed ministers:

160 clergy: 120 parish clergy (99 stipendiary), and 33 curates (15 stipendiary).
101 Readers: 53 licensed and 48 with Permission to Officiate.

19 Church "Aided" Schools, 18 Church "Controlled" Schools, 2 Foundation and 2 Academies.

Bradwell is served by the Bishop of Bradwell who lives to the south-west of Basildon in the village of Horndon-on-the-Hill, by the Archdeacon of Chelmsford who lives in the city, and by the Archdeacon of Southend who lives in Benfleet. 

9. The Venerable David Lowman

David Lowman was ordained in 1975. After curacies in Notting Hill and Kilburn he was vocations adviser at Church House Westminster.

He was team rector at Wickford and Runwell, Diocesan Director of Ordinannds and a non-Residentiary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral.

David has served as Archdeacon of Southend from 2001 and as Archdeacon of Chelmsford from 2013.