THE new Archdeacon of Plymouth is the Rev Jane Bakker, who is currently Priest-in-Charge of a large parish in Southampton and was the former Area Dean.

The Rev Bakker grew up in Cambridge and joined the RAF as an assistant air traffic controller before working in accounts and becoming a Management Accountant.

She felt called to ordination soon after becoming a Christian and trained at Trinity College, Bristol, where she met her husband, Greg. She was ordained in 2001.

She said: ‘I am most looking forward to getting to know the people of Plymouth Archdeaconry and discovering the joys and challenges of ministry in Devon. It is not an area I know well, and I will enjoy exploring the region.

‘I find hope when I see small churches, sometimes in challenging circumstances, making a big impact in their local community.

‘When the resilient and resourceful congregations gather around a renewed vision of God’s kingdom, then hope is irrepressible.  

‘The message of Jesus is one of transformation. In the thousands of small changes that follow the movement of God’s spirit, hope grows.’

Jane succeeds the Ven. Nick Shutt, who is retiring at Easter.

She said that she was looking forward to working with churches in both urban and rural areas and across the spectrum of church traditions ‘When churches respond to the needs of their community in imaginative ways, diversity and individuality emerge.

‘The joy of being part of a broad church is that there is room for every expression of church – we are only limited by our imagination!’

The Bishop of Plymouth, the Rt. Rev James Grier, said: ‘I am delighted that Jane is going to be the new Archdeacon of Plymouth and can’t wait to work with her as we partner in serving the people of Plymouth Archdeaconry.

‘She brings a fantastic combination of pastoral, administrative and strategic gifts, along with great faith and enthusiasm, which are all essential for an archdeacon!

‘I look forward to this new season of growing the kingdom in the wonderful west of Devon.’

Jane, who enjoys being ‘a serial crafter’ in her spare time, plans to move to Devon in May.

She said: ‘I like to walk with my dog Orla and my husband. We enjoy being by water, so we are looking forward to exploring Devon’s rivers and coastlines.’

Jane will be collated (licensed) as Archdeacon of Plymouth in a special service at St Eustachius church, Tavistock, on Tuesday, June 13, at 7pm.

She will be installed as a member of the College of Canons at Exeter Cathedral during Choral Evensong on Tuesday, 27 June 27, at 5.30pm.

Anyone is welcome to attend both services.