New Isle of Wight Archdeacon to be Among First Women Priests

|PIC1|The next Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight will become one of the first women ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church. Canon Caroline Baston, who is currently a rector in Winchester and the diocesan director of ordinands, will take up her new position at the start of September 2006.

Baston will succeed in the position from the Ven Trevor Reader, who became Archdeacon of Portsdown on the mainland in February. Baston will be installed in Portsmouth Cathedral at 6pm on 10th September and welcomed to the island at St Thomas’s Church in Newport later that week after starting work at the beginning of the month.

The 49-year-old used to work as a teacher in a Birmingham inner-city comprehensive before training to become a priest. She initially worked as a curate in Southampton and was among the first tranche of women to be ordained to the priesthood in 1994.

|AD|She was appointed rector of All Saints Church, Winchester, with St Andrew’s Church, Chilcomb, and St Peter’s Church, Chesil, in 1995.

For the past 11 years, Baston has combined the post with a diocesan job. She worked first as diocesan communications officer, with responsibilities that included media liaison, and since 1999 as diocesan director of ordinands, which involved helping those interested in becoming clergy themselves.

Baston said, “I am delighted to accept Bishop Kenneth’s invitation to become the next Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight. It is an exciting and challenging post with both island and diocesan responsibilities.

“I very much look forward to moving to the Isle of Wight, getting to know the clergy and people of the parishes and working with all sections of the island community.”

The Rt Rev Kenneth Stevenson, the Bishop of Portsmouth said, “I’m delighted to be able to appoint someone with Caroline’s experience and skills to this job. I’m sure she will bring a lot to the Isle of Wight community, and to the Portsmouth diocese as a whole.”

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