One of Suffolk's most senior Church of England priests has retired after nearly three decades.

The farewell service for Ven Jeanette Gosney, Archdeacon of Suffolk, was held in St Michael’s Church, Framlingham, on Sunday, April 23.

The Ven Jeanette Gosney started her ministry in Ipswich in 1996, where she was curate at St Margaret’s Church on Bolton Lane.

After several roles outside Suffolk she rejoined St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese in 2017 as Bishop’s Ministry Officer, and served as Diocesan Adviser for Women’s Ministry before becoming Archdeacon in 2020.

She said: “It has been a real privilege and joy to work with so many committed clergy and parishioners across the archdeaconry and see so many signs of new growth and community links.

Beccles & Bungay Journal:

“There have been tough times, and we know there are challenges for churches with buildings and finance, but people's commitment and determination to keep going is fantastic.

“I couldn’t have done the job without the support of colleagues in the diocesan office, as well as the rural deans.”

The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, paid tribute to the retiring Archdeacon. 

He said: “She was an outstanding addition to the Diocesan leadership team and brought strong pastoral gifts, a commitment to the mission of the local church, and a readiness to help churches seize opportunities and develop creative solutions as they grew in faith and service.

Beccles & Bungay Journal:

“Jeanette was a much loved and respected Archdeacon who used her life skills to enhance the Church of England in Suffolk.’”

Revd Dr Mike Harrison, Bishop of Dunwich, added: “An Archdeacon is a key role, playing an important part for hundreds of churches in the east of Suffolk.

“Jeanette ably supported clergy and their well-being through the pandemic and afterwards, working imaginatively with congregations.”

The new Archdeacon, the Revd Canon Rich Henderson, will be installed on May 14 in St Edmundsbury Cathedral at Bury St Edmunds.

He is currently Rector of Beccles with Worlingham, North Cove and Barnby, as well as Rural Dean of Waveney and Blyth.