The Venerable John Green has been appointed the ‘Archdeacon Pastor’ of the Diocese of Coventry. The appointment was made by the Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend Dr. Christopher Cocksworth. Bishop Christopher said,
"John Green has won many hearts over the last months through his energy, skill and dedication as Acting Archdeacon of Coventry. I am delighted that he will be joining us on a permanent basis as our first Archdeacon Pastor. John will bring deep and varied experience of ministry in a number of settings to this new position. He already knows what it is to be an Archdeacon both in the Navy and the Diocese but I know that he will also bring innovation and imagination into this new work as he seeks to nurture the relationships that are needed to move a fleet of people and parishes in the right direction. I very much look forward to working with him in his new ministry among us."
Traditionally the Diocese of Coventry has had two archdeacons, each working within their own geographical area. However, following his arrival in 2008, Bishop Christopher was keen to explore more innovative roles for his senior clergy. This resulted, in 2010, with the ‘Archdeacon of Warwick’ post being replaced by an ‘Archdeacon Missioner’. Two years later, Bishop Christopher is pleased to be implementing the next stage, with the ‘Archdeacon of Coventry’ post being replaced by an ‘Archdeacon Pastor’.
Both archdeacons will work across the entire diocese in Coventry and Warwickshire, but they will each have a distinctive focus. The ‘Archdeacon Pastor’ will be seeking to enhance the quality of relationships within (and between) churches and local communities. As John Green explains,
"Archdeacons' ministry is often thought of as enforcing church law for the sake of order. However, I see my future role as safeguarding order so that loving relationships can flourish, making new disciples and transforming communities."
John was born into a traditional East London family. Although his family only attended church occasionally, his mother taught him to pray regularly at an early age and he can’t remember a time when God wasn’t very real for him. John was always interested in technical things and opted to go to the local ‘technical’ grammar school. It was here that he became fascinated with the organ as both a machine and musical instrument. He began taking lessons at school but became involved with the Church when his parish church was rebuilt and had a new pipe organ installed. He was given the post of Assistant Organist but quickly became involved in a wide range of parish activities and the Church became central to his life.
John studied physics at a London polytechnic. It was during this time that he had the first inklings of a vocation, but he continued his studies and took up a position with Thorn Lighting. He met Jan through his local church, and they were married in 1977.
It wasn’t long before his sense of vocation returned, and John started training for the ordained ministry at Lincoln in 1980. He served as a curate in West Watford, and then had responsibility for a church in St Albans. It was during these years that he and Jan had their two sons (Tony and Greg).
During his time at St Albans John became involved with the local Sea Cadet unit and, through them, with the Royal Navy. He became a chaplain in 1991, and over the next fifteen years had a series of appointments both at sea and on shore. In 2006 he was selected to be Principal Anglican Chaplain (Archdeacon for the Royal Navy) and Chaplain of the Fleet.
His position often required him to adopt an ambassadorial role. He developed close working relationships with chaplains from other Christian churches, and also with representatives from the other major World Faiths (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism). He provided a faith-centred perspective within the management structures of the Royal Navy, including financial management and personnel policy. The part he played was similar to that of a non-executive director, bringing a different perspective to bear on the issues being considered. He was made a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in the New Year Honours List in 2010 and retired from the RN later that year.
John enjoys a wide range of activities from listening to and making music, through thinking and writing poetry, to D-I-Y. He retains a keen interest in science and technology, especially fundamental physics and cosmology, and also enjoys ‘messing about in boats’.
John and Jan are enjoying living as part of a small but varied and warm community in New Arley, where they are the proud keepers of seven free-range chickens.
The former post of ‘Archdeacon of Coventry’ was vacated in February following the retirement of the Venerable Ian Watson. Bishop Christopher invited John Green to stand in as Acting Archdeacon of Coventry while the new post of ‘Archdeacon Pastor’ was being finalized. John says:
"I've really enjoyed the last five months as Acting Archdeacon. The Diocese is at a really exciting place in its development - we have a first-class team and an inspiring vision - and things are already starting to happen!"
John Green will be installed as Archdeacon Pastor in the Coventry Cathedral on 9th December during the 10.30 am Cathedral Eucharist.