The Archdeacon of Cornwall, the Ven Bill Stuart-White, is to move to Falmouth to head up the Diocese of Truro’s innovative plan to reinvigorate the Anglican Church in the town and surrounding area.

Archdeacon Bill has been a key figure behind the Transforming Mission (TM) project since its inception. He led the team that put together the successful bid for £1.2 million of Strategic Development Funding from the Church Commissioners.

Bill will become the Priest-in-Charge of All Saints Falmouth and will head up the TM work across Falmouth and Carnmarth South Deanery. He will also, in the short-term, remain at the helm of the Diocesan TM team as plans are drawn up to present a further bid for funding towards initiating TM in other locations in the Diocese.

Bill will not be immediately replaced as Archdeacon of Cornwall, as Bishop Chris believes the new Bishop of Truro would be the right person to make such a key appointment in the life of the diocese. Until this appointment is made, the Ven Audrey Elkington, Archdeacon of Bodmin, will temporarily act as archdeacon to the whole diocese. A number of the associated roles that Archdeacons Bill and Audrey have undertaken to date will be shared between key staff. The diocese will also appoint an executive assistant to help Archdeacon Audrey manage her increased workload until the new archdeacon is appointed.

Archdeacon Bill said: “I believe passionately that Transforming Mission is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to create a sense of renewal and vibrancy alongside the many existing positive aspects of church in Falmouth today.

“I have really appreciated the joys and challenges of the past five years as archdeacon, and am delighted and somewhat surprised to find myself being led by God to this new opportunity in Falmouth. I’m greatly looking forward to working with, and learning from, the wonderful congregation at All Saints and to being involved with the beginning of the Transforming Mission work in and around the town. What I know already of the town and deanery tells me that it is a vibrant and exciting place, with a variety of lively expressions of Christian faith. I’ll want to work closely with all those who seek to discover God’s Kingdom and to grow the Church there, and pray that together we may have the privilege of seeing God at work in individual and community life.”

The Bishop of St Germans, The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, said: “The Transforming Mission initiative is a very significant investment by our diocese and by the national church in the future growth and development of the church in Cornwall. Throughout the process we have been conscious of God’s guidance, challenge and remarkable provision.

“We are eager to see this work move forward and Bill is the outstanding candidate for this strategically vital role. His departure from the archdeaconry will be keenly felt, but by placing Bill in Falmouth I believe we are choosing to commit ourselves to the future and to hope.”

Bishop Chris is hoping to license Archdeacon Bill to his new role in May.

It is hoped to advertise for the role of executive assistant to Archdeacon Audrey by the end of February.