The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev’d Vivienne Faull, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev’d Steve Wilkinson as the new Area Dean of North Wiltshire Deanery.
In the Diocese of Bristol there are a total of seven deaneries, each led by an Area Dean. Rev’d Steve Wilkinson has been appointed as the new Area Dean of North Wiltshire Deanery following the appointment of Rev’d Alison Love, the previous Area Dean, to another post.
Steve is Rector of the Woodbridge Benefice, a group of six rural churches located in the countryside around Malmesbury, in Wiltshire. He was ordained in 2010 after a career in electronics and project management. After ordination training at Ridley Hall, Steve became curate in the Greater Corsham and Lacock team, before becoming Rector of the Woodbridge Benefice in 2014.
Over the last seven years, the churches of the Woodbridge Benefice group have been working more closely together. The advent of the North Wiltshire Mission Area built on that, with two years of the CPAS 'Thrive' programme helping the diverse churches of North Wiltshire get to know themselves and each other better.
Since the signing of the Mission Area Covenant in 2019, the relationship of the 31 parishes has been drawing closer too. Lockdown brought additional challenges but helped in developing closer relationships, as the necessity to share the new skills and workload of online services became apparent.
Rev’d Steve Wilkinson said:
"I'm pleased to have accepted the Bishop's invitation to become Area Dean and I look forward to the new aspects of ministry that this role will bring, alongside the continuing responsibilities within Woodbridge.
"The immediate future brings the challenge of understanding what the permanent impact of the pandemic has been on life in general, but specifically on rural churches. The Diocesan strategic review, Transforming Church, will bring some interesting conversations within North Wiltshire Deanery as we work out the future shape of Christ's church in this area".
The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev’d Vivienne Faull, said:
“Steve is becoming Area Dean at an exciting albeit challenging time for Bristol Diocese as we look to discern the future for God’s church at a time of pandemic. Steve comes to the role with a deep commitment to the Deanery and rural ministry along with well-developed strategic and relational skills. I am very much looking forward to working with Steve in the months ahead.”