21 August 2014
We welcome our new Diocesan Secretary, Angela Sibson OBE, today.
Angela says she is looking forward to meeting people throughout the diocese and learning about their work; and with her own connections to Lincolnshire, she is looking forward to returning to the area.
Angela said: "I love the wide skies and sense of space that's characteristic of the fen country and of course, the sense of a long history and the beautiful ancient churches.
"I grew up near Stamford and my grandfather was village schoolmaster in Stibbington for many years. I was baptised in Holbeach St Mark, I think because a friend of his was there. I learned to play the piano with Miss Swift who lived in Maiden Lane, Stamford and although I'd like to say that I became an accomplished pianist, that was not to be, in spite of her best efforts."
Angela comes with previous experience of the role, joining Lincoln from her role as Diocesan Secretary for the Diocese of Chichester. Her previous roles have included serving as Chief Executive of the Mothers' Union and later the charity Relate, as well as CEO of the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners.
In 2010, she was awarded the OBE for services to children and families. She joined the Diocese of Chichester as Diocesan Secretary in January 2011.
Angela said: "The job of diocesan secretary is a fascinating one as it covers an enormous variety of subjects from ecclesiastical law to property management. At the same time, there's the opportunity to get to know people in parishes and learn about what's going well for them and where they might need a bit of help from the diocesan team.
"In Chichester we have been dealing with some important challenges in the last few years, in all areas of diocesan life, and we've managed to apply our learning to improving the way we work and to strengthening our teams. Chichester diocese has a large number of church schools and I have learned a lot about the changes in education policy that present major practical challenges but also put our schools in the forefront of change and opportunities for growth.
"Lincoln is another large diocese with a long and distinguished history and I'm looking forward to joining Bishop Christopher and his team in the task of working out how best to share the gospel, grow the church and strengthen its contribution to the wellbeing of the communities it serves."
Angela says her initial priorities will be to spend time with those already making great contributions to the life of the diocese, as well as the Bishops, senior staff, Cathedral community and diocesan staff to understand their priorities and how everything fits together.
She added: "The strength of the church lies in the people of God in each parish and church community and dioceses need to support and encourage that. "There's much to be thankful for in the heritage that we have of Christian witness and service over the centuries. Dioceses play a part in preserving these things and representing the heritage in ways that are relevant now and for the future.
"In Lincoln, as elsewhere, the challenges are to grow the church, build the range and capacity of ministry and increase the ways in which the church supports and benefits the communities it serves. "
Angela has a grown-up son and daughter who are both settled, one in Sussex and one in Hampshire, and two grandchildren.
She has a particular interest in Roman history and enjoys spending her holidays on the west Cumbrian coast.
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