Well-wishers turned out in force to give a fitting send-off for the retirement of one of Suffolk’s most senior Church of England clergy who has loved seeing churches grow and support their local communities.
The farewell service for the Ven Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, was held in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham on Sunday 23 April 2023.
Jeanette started her ministry in Ipswich in 1996 where she was curate at St Margaret’s. After several roles outside Suffolk she rejoined St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese in 2017 as Bishop’s Ministry Officer, and served as Diocesan Adviser for Women’s Ministry before becoming Archdeacon in 2020.
She said: “It has been a real privilege and joy to work with so many committed clergy and parishioners across the archdeaconry and see so many signs of new growth and community links. There have been tough times, and we know there are challenges for churches with buildings and finance, but people's commitment and determination to keep going is fantastic. I couldn’t have done the job without the support of colleagues in the diocesan office, as well as the rural deans.”
Jeanette is keen to volunteer on environmental issues and to teach English to non-native speakers.
Bishop Martin, paid tribute, “She was an outstanding addition to the Diocesan leadership team and brought strong pastoral gifts, a commitment to the mission of the local church, and a readiness to help churches seize opportunities and develop creative solutions as they grew in faith and service. Jeanette was a much loved and respected Archdeacon who used her life skills to enhance the Church of England in Suffolk.”
His praise was echoed by Bishop Mike, who said: “An Archdeacon is a key role, playing an important part for hundreds of churches in the east of Suffolk. Jeanette ably supported clergy and their well-being through the pandemic and afterwards, working imaginatively with congregations.”
The new Archdeacon, the Revd Canon Rich Henderson, will be installed on 14 May in St Edmundsbury Cathedral at Bury St Edmunds.
He is currently Rector of Beccles with Worlingham, North Cove and Barnby, as well as Rural Dean of Waveney and Blyth.