Revd Canon Michael Johnson appointed Acting Archdeacon of Bristol

First published 6th April 2018

Revd Canon Michael Johnson has been appointed as the Acting Archdeacon of Bristol.

He will take on the role for the next 12 months when a permanent appointment will be made.

Before his retirement last September, Michael was incumbent of Wroughton for more than 20 years. For some of that time he was Area Dean of Swindon and chaplain to the hospice for North Wiltshire.

Since he retired from parochial ministry, he has been involved in mentoring clergy, vocations discernment, reviewing parishes in vacancy and serving on the Bristol Diocese DAC.

After a brief spell in the Mission to Seafarers, the merchant navy and an off licence chain, Michael was ordained in the London Diocese. After serving two curacies as was normal then, in Primrose Hill and Hampstead, he went to work in a team ministry in south west London, and was responsible for a congregation and all the work with children and young people.

For more than 20 years he was incumbent of Wroughton, a lively church and community and had the opportunity to work with no less than six curates. In recent years a Year of Discipleship led to the initiation of a Sunday afternoon service, Church at 4, held in the church hall in the centre of the village (the church is up a hill on the edge) attended by families with children, and many people who are new to church as well as a renewed impetus for the church to be more obvious in the community. A Sunday service in a cowshed on Open Farm Sunday in June, the Wroughton Passion and numerous activities for families and children followed.

He promoted the idea of a single deanery for Swindon and was its first Area Dean, founding the deanery on a commitment to prayer and worship. He was also chaplain to Prospect Hospice which is situated in the village. Since he retired from parochial ministry he has been involved in mentoring clergy, vocations discernment, reviewing parishes in vacancy and serving on the Bristol Diocese DAC. 

Michael is looking forward to the new challenge of being Acting Archdeacon of Bristol. 

He said: "I thought that I was going to retire but it turned out to be just a gap year! Im now ready for this new challenge and to working with our new Bishop and the senior staff team to encourage the love of the Gospel across the Diocese."

Michael is married to Sue, a teacher and they have a married son who is a car designer. His hobbies include travel, restoring and driving classic cars.

The Rt Revd Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon and Acting Diocesan Bishop, said: I am delighted that Michael has been appointed as the Interim Archdeacon of Bristol. He is widely known as one of our senior clergy in the Diocese and during his long service has carried a variety of additional responsibilities which will fit him well for this new role.

Since his retirement last September, Michael has continued to be very active in the support of parishes and ministers across the Diocese. Michael will bring considerable knowledge, experience and wisdom to this post and has the advantage of building on a foundation of existing strong relationships.

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