Page last updated at 10:56 GMT, Saturday, 21 June 2008 11:56 UK

Diocese to get woman archdeacon

The Reverend Jan McFarlane
The Reverend Jan McFarlane was ordained at Lichfield Cathedral in 1993

The first female archdeacon ever to be appointed to the Diocese of Norwich has been announced.

The Reverend Jan McFarlane, 43, will succeed the Venerable Clifford Offer, who retires from full-time ministry at the beginning of August.

There are 112 archdeacons in the Church of England, of whom nine are female.

Ms McFarlane has spent the past eight years as both communications officer for the diocese and chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich.

She trained at Cranmer Hall in Durham and was ordained at Lichfield Cathedral in 1993.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James said: "Jan is exceptionally able and has had a high profile in Norwich and the wider diocese over the past eight years.

"She will be the first female priest to take up such a senior position in this diocese and I'm sure she will be a great support to clergy and lay people alike."

The archdeacon shares with the bishop the pastoral care of the clergy and undertakes much of the practical, legal and administrative work in a diocese.

The Archdeaconry of Norwich covers Norwich and greater Norwich and comprises 42 parishes and 50 full and part-time clergy.


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