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

New Archdeacon of Harlow appointed

12th May 2017

Revd Canon Vanessa Herrick brings huge experience of mission and ministry

The Revd Canon Vanessa Herrick, currently Rector of Wimborne Minster & the Northern Villages in the Diocese of Salisbury, has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Harlow. 

Vanessa will begin her ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford in September 2017.

She succeeds the Venerable Martin Webster who retired in March 2017.

The Right Revd Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford has said:

“Vanessa will bring huge experience of mission and ministry to her work as Archdeacon of Harlow. She is a creative and inspiring teacher and pastor who will bring blessing and energy to the churches of the Harlow Archdeaconry and to the whole diocese. I am delighted to be welcoming her to the good ship Chelmsford.”

The Revd Canon Vanessa Herrick added:
“I am excited to be taking up my appointment at this time of change and development in mission and ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford. I particularly look forward to getting to know the diverse peoples and communities of the Harlow Archdeaconry and to working alongside Bishop Peter and his team in the Barking Area.”
Welcoming the appointment, the Right Revd Peter Hill, the Area Bishop of Barking said:

"We very much look forward to welcoming Vanessa Herrick into the Barking Area leadership team as Archdeacon of Harlow. She is a gifted pastor-teacher who will bring Godly wisdom and discernment to the role of archdeacon. She has guided and taught ordinands, laity and clergy in a wide range of diocesan and theological settings, equipping God’s people to minister in contemporary society. I know we will reap the benefits of Vanessa’s leadership and ministry, both in the archdeaconry and much further afield in East London and Essex."

“Vanessa is an able, holy and creative priest with considerable experience to bring to the post of Archdeacon. Before becoming Rector of Wimborne Minster she was a diocesan Director of Ministry. She is a very natural educator who thinks and writes clearly. She is wise, strategic and determined, whilst being very human and caring, just the sort of qualities that will make her a good Archdeacon. I am delighted by her appointment,” commented the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury.

More information

Vanessa Herrick

Vanessa Herrick has been Rector of Wimborne Minster since 2012 and of the Minster and the Northern Villages since 2015.  Before that she served as Director of Ministry and Director of Ordinands for the Diocese of Ely.  She has also worked in two cathedrals, been a university chaplain and has taught theology in Cambridge.  She is married to David (who is also ordained) and has two grown up sons and two grandchildren.  She enjoys music and the arts, long distance walking, baking bread and watching rugby and cricket.

Collation and Installation

Vanessa Herrick will be ‘Collated and Installed’ (or admitted at a special Service) in Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday 24 September 2017 at 3.30 pm.

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.

The Archdeaconry and Episcopal Area

Vanessa’s new Archdeaconry, Harlow, is part of the ‘Barking Episcopal Area’ (or the Bishop of Barking’s Area).

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 east London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest, the county of Essex, and the unitary authorities of Southend and Thurrock.  
With a population estimated to be 3,060,000 Chelmsford is the second largest diocese in England.
About 5,000 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 38,400 in the Diocese.
An estimated further 6,200 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 1,840 weddings and services of prayer and dedication after civil marriage in the Diocese and 5,750 funeral or cremation services a year.
The Diocese comprises 463 parishes, 320 benefices, 579 churches and 503 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.

The Barking Episcopal Area

The Barking Episcopal Area includes Harlow, Epping Forest, Ongar, and the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
The population of the Barking Episcopal Area is estimated to be 1,572,639 (2015).

Barking is served by the Bishop of Barking who lives in Walthamstow, by the Archdeacon of Harlow, who lives in Sheering, by the Archdeacon of Barking who lives in Hornchurch, and by the Archdeacon of West Ham, who lives in Manor Park. 

Barking has three Archdeaconries and seven Deaneries:

The Archdeaconry of Barking with the Deaneries of Barking and Havering. 

The Archdeaconry of Harlow with the Deaneries of Harlow, and Epping Forest & Ongar.

The Archdeaconry of West Ham with the Deaneries of Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.

Within Barking’s boundaries are some 148 parishes and 179 church buildings, 202 Clergy, 48 Licensed Lay Ministers or Readers, and 33 Church Schools.

The Venerable Martin Webster

Martin Webster retired as Archdeacon of Harlow at the end of March 2017. The whole of his ordained ministry was in the Diocese of Chelmsford. Martin served in Thundersley, Canvey Island, Nazeing and Waltham Abbey, and was appointed Archdeacon of Harlow in 2009.