A new Area Dean has been appointed for Tunstall Deanery by Lancashire’s Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson.

Rev. Nancy Goodrich, Vicar of the Benefice of Bolton-le-Sands, was licensed by Bishop Julian at Bolton-le-Sands Holy Trinity on May 24. She will fulfil the role previously held by Rev. Damian Porter, Vicar of Warton St Oswald with Yealand Conyers St John.

The Diocese of Blackburn, which covers the whole of Lancashire, is split into 14 ‘Deaneries’ from Tunstall Deanery in the north to Chorley Deanery in the south and from Blackpool Deanery in the west to Pendle Deanery in the east.

Each Deanery is run by an Area Dean, who usually also retains his or her role as a local parish priest in addition to the area duties.

These duties include:

  • Helping the Bishop in his care of the Deanery
  • Providing a supportive and collaborative leadership for mission and ministry in the Deanery
  • Convening the Deanery Chapter (the regular gathering of local clergy) and co-chairing the Deanery Synod meetings and the work of Deanery Synod
  • Attending Area Dean meetings several times a year, which are chaired by Bishop Julian and are also attended by members of the Bishop’s Leadership Team
  • Sometimes deputising for the Archdeacon

Area Deans usually have a significant role during clergy vacancies in their Deaneries, along with churchwardens. They also have a role in the appointment of a new parish incumbent.

In addition to being Vicar of Bolton-le-Sands, Rev. Nancy Goodrich is also Vice-Chair of the Blackburn Diocese House of Clergy and a member of Bishop’s Council.

Nancy is passionate about encouraging new ways of working in the Church of England, she has recently been awarded an MA in Practical Theology from the University of Cumbria, and is currently teaching on the Diocesan Occasional Preachers Course.

Nancy is married to Nigel, a Lancaster City Councillor, and they have two girls at school in Lancaster. Nancy was ordained in 2009. Previously she was a Chartered Accountant and Plant Controller in the Automotive industry.

Commenting today Nancy said: “I regularly pray ‘God, use me’, which is one prayer that God always answers; but the call to be Area Dean is humbling and I pray that God will help me in it. It will be an honour and privilege to serve in this way.”

Bishop Julian said: “I am grateful to Nancy for taking on the role of Area Dean and I am looking forward to working with her in the coming years.”

The Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, added: “I am delighted to welcome Nancy to her new role of Area Dean and I rejoice that she brings so many skills and insights into the team of 14 area deans across the diocese as together we seek to be ‘healthy churches transforming communities’.”