Salisbury Cathedral has appointed two new priests to key roles in the Cathedral. In Spring next year Canon Nigel Davies will be joining Salisbury Cathedral as Vicar of the Close and The Revd Pete Atkinson joins in the newly created role of Minor Canon for Young People.
Canon Nigel Davies will be welcomed to the Cathedral at the 10.30 Sung Eucharist on 26 April 2020, taking up his role as Vicar of the Close after almost a dozen years as Team Rector of Kendal Deanery’s Beacon Team, based in Burnside, Cumbria. He succeeds The Revd Canon Ian Woodward, who left the Cathedral earlier this year.
Trained as a teacher at St. Martin’s College, Lancaster, Canon Nigel taught for seven years before being accepted for ordination. He did his training at Salisbury and Wells Theological College, where he met his wife, the Revd Jayne Tyrer. The pair both served their curacies in Manchester Diocese before moving to the Carlisle Diocese, where Canon Nigel worked in a wide range of capacities including Pastoral Tutor with the Carlisle and Blackburn Diocesan Training Institute, five years as a Rural Dean, over 10 years as Team Rector of the Beacon Team of Churches comprising six parishes, and leader of the recently launched Beacon Team Mission Community.
As Vicar of the Close Canon Nigel’s main responsibilities include the support and strengthening of the Cathedral community through the provision of pastoral care. He will also be responsible for supervising arrangements for baptism, marriages, funeral and interments in the Cathedral, working alongside his colleagues in the Liturgy and Music department.
Speaking about the new appointment, the Dean of Salisbury, The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: “Nigel is a gifted priest who will come to Salisbury after long years of parish ministry, with considerable wisdom and skill in pastoral care. We look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Close”
Canon Nigel Davies said: “Salisbury has always had a special place in my heart. Sarum and Wells Theological College is where I trained for the ministry and where I met my wife Jayne, who was also an ordinand. The Pastoral aspect of ministry is what drew me to the priesthood in the first place, and it is wonderful that this will be my primary focus, as Vicar of the Close. I will also have the opportunity to take part in worship in such a magnificent setting – I feel lucky and blessed.”
The Revd Pete Atkinson, who is currently working in St Helens within the Liverpool Diocese also joins the Cathedral team next year as its first Minor Canon for Young People. He will be welcomed on Mothering Sunday, 22 March 2020, during the 10.30 Eucharist.
A missional priest who is passionate about connecting with individuals in discussions around faith, life and meaning, the Revd Pete knows the Salisbury area well, having grown up in and around Southampton. Prior to ordination, he spent many years working in public and third sector organisations with some of the most vulnerable in society, particularly engaging in the areas of education, drug misuse, mental health, offending and unemployment.
The Revd Pete trained for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol then moved to the Diocese of Liverpool to serve his curacy within the West Warrington Team of Churches. He was subsequently involved in a project to reach young people who are not currently connected to the church in St Helens, Merseyside.
In his new role in Salisbury, he will oversee the Sunday Club and work with Cathedral School families and other families encouraging them to participate in the Cathedral’s worship, life and mission. He will take responsibility, on the Cathedral’s behalf, for all the young people who meet in the Close, and he will work closely with the Diocesan Board of Education and other churches and agencies in the Salisbury Deanery and city to ensure that the Cathedral’s ministry complements and celebrates the work being done across the Diocese.
The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: “I am thrilled that Pete is to be the Cathedral’s first full-time priest for all the young people who gather in the Close or who worship here. His appointment reflects our determination to care better for them, and he will bring huge energy to what is an exciting, pioneering role for Salisbury.”
The Revd Pete Atkinson said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this pioneering role for Salisbury Cathedral. I am excited for the many opportunities within Salisbury to engage with young people and enable them to encounter Christ and the work of the Cathedral.”