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Evensong welcome to the new Archdeacon of Surrey

The Revd Canon Catharine Mabuza has formally become the first female archdeacon for the Diocese of Guildford, and the next Archdeacon of Surrey at a service of Choral Evensong on the 17 March at 6pm.

Catharine has become one of the most senior clergy in the Diocese of Guildford, joining the Bishop’s Leadership team, working alongside the Bishop of Dorking, Archdeacon of Dorking, Diocesan Secretary, Director of Education, and Director of Mission. 

Speaking after her welcome service, The Venerable Catharine Mabuza said: “This evening has been a wonderful welcome. I’m excited to be joining Guildford Diocese where there are clearly many signs of God at work in our communities, schools and churches. I’m really looking forward to getting to know people and learning more.”

Surrounded by friends, family and colleagues, old and new, The Venerable Canon Catharine Mabuza starts her new role as the 72nd Archdeacon of Surrey in earnest.  

The new Archdeacon of Surrey, The Right Reverend Catharine Mabuza, with the previous two Archdeacons of Surrey

Before the service, Catharine made the Declaration of Assent and three Oaths required by law.  

Canon Chris Hollingshurst, Canon Residentiary of Guildford Cathedral, presented Catharine to the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, to be collated. Andrew responded, saying: “I am delighted to do so and I pray that God’s blessing may rest upon Catharine and the Archdeaconry of Surrey.” 

For the Collation, Catharine kneeled and Bishop Andrew read the Deed of Collation. He then handed the Deed to Catharine, saying: “Catharine, receive this ministry, which you and I both share, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 

Andrew anointed Catharine with oil of chrism and prayed for God’s blessing. 

In his sermon, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford, spoke of the fleeting nature of gifts received by the Bishop of Northern Malawi at the installation which he attended in 2010, and that while those may break or become worn out, God's promise of wisdom is new every morning to those who ask for it.

The Diocese of Guildford has two archdeaconries, Surrey, and Dorking, with around 80 parishes in each. There are two Archdeacons, who are senior clergy with a key role of pastoral care for the 200+ clergy in the diocese, helping to enable strategy at a local level, overseeing the care of church buildings and assisting churches in vacancy.   

Stay tuned for more from Catharine as she settles into her role over the coming months. 

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