First Church Estates Commissioner Sir Andreas Whittam Smith has paid a full visit to the diocese, beginning with a tour of Church House.
Sir Andreas, who founded the Independent newspaper, was greeted by Bishop Nick and Diocesan Secretaries Debbie Child and Ashley Ellis and said he was most impressed by the new office’s efficient design.
After coffee in the Cielo café, he and Bishop Nick travelled to St Aidan’s, Harehills and then on to Wakefield Cathedral for lunch with Dean Jonathan Greener.
The First Commissioner is the Chairman of the Church Commissioners' Assets Committee, a statutory committee responsible for the strategic management of the Church Commissioners' £7 billion investment portfolio.
A Crown nomination, the First Commissioner is also a member of the Church Commissioners' Board of Governors, the General Synod and the Archbishops' Council.
(Top left, at the Diocesan Office with Bishop Nick, meeting Ashley Ellis, Chris Tate, ad Debbie Child; above left at Wakefield Cathedral; left meeting Revd Guy Donegan-Cross at St Mark's Harrogate; below right, at Ripon Cathedral with Dean, John Dobson.)
Sir Andreas will be stepping down from the role he has held for fifteen years in June this year.
After Wakefield he visited St Mark’s, Harrogate, before a tour of Ripon Cathedral with Dean John Dobson, which included descending into its ancient stone crypt.
Speaking at a dinner in his honour at Hollin House that evening, Sir Andreas said he was “hugely encouraged” by what had already been achieved by the Diocese of Leeds and praised the hard work which had gone into its creation.
Bishop Nick thanked him for his invaluable advice and support for the diocese from its inception.