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Vicar of Oxenhope to be our new Archdeacon of Pontefract

First published on: 20th November 2023

The diocese is delighted to announce that Revd Canon Cat Thatcher, currently Vicar of Oxenhope, will be the new Archdeacon of Pontefract.

Revd Cat will join Bishop Tony in serving our Wakefield Episcopal Area next Spring after five years working in the parish at the end of the famous Keighley and Worth Valley Railway where she has also been the Clergy Development Officer for the Bradford Episcopal Area.

“I have loved living in and serving Oxenhope, and will miss this beautiful place and these beautiful people,” said Revd Cat.

“I’ll also miss the toot-toot of the steam trains from the station at the bottom of the hill.  I’m really looking forward to getting to know and serving the people and parishes of the Wakefield area, and pleased that my role will continue to include Initial Ministerial Education (IME) for the Wakefield area curates, so that I will continue to work with the diocese’s wonderful Clergy Development Team.”

The Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds congratulated Revd Cat: “Cat brings to her new role wide experience and a strong working knowledge of our diocese. Her pre-ordination work informs her current and future ministry as an archdeacon – her ministry in cathedral, parish and diocese have been hugely appreciated. 

“I’m sure her enthusiasm and skills will be warmly welcomed across the diocese, but particularly in the Wakefield Episcopal Area.”

Revd Cat grew up in Manchester and moved to London after gaining a history degree at Emmanuel College Cambridge.

She worked in various roles across the national church and the public sector in London, until 2003 when she returned north to become Head of Primary Care and then Deputy Director of Primary Care in NHS Bradford and Airedale.  

In 2012 she left the NHS to train for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge, and in 2014 returned to Bradford to serve her curacy at Bradford Cathedral.  Since 2018 she has been working on a Professional Doctorate in Practical Theology at Chester University. 

“My thesis, which I hope to submit in 2024, Archdeaconing permitting, is on Compassion as a Corporate Value in NHS Organizations,” Revd Cat said.

“In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano and own two cats, called The Bishop and Ben Stokes, whose primary role is to distract me from working on my thesis.”

Revd Cat will be installed as the Archdeacon of Pontefract at Wakefield Cathedral on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 3.30pm.

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