Archdeacon of Bedford to retire at year end
Farewell service: Saturday 12th January at St Paul’s Bedford at 4pm. All are welcome
After a ministry spanning 36 years as curate, Vicar and Archdeacon, the Venerable Paul Hughes, Archdeacon of Bedford since 2003, has announced that he will retire on 31st December 2018.
During his time as Archdeacon he has served the hundred or so parishes of Bedfordshire as well as acting as a school Governor and a member of various diocesan committees, including the Diocesan Property Committee where both his pastoral instincts and his experience as a Residential Property Surveyor before his ordination have served the diocese well.
Archdeacon Paul is married to the Revd Canon Liz Hughes, who is Senior Chaplain to Luton Airport. Liz was first ordained Deaconess in 1983 and was one of the first cohort of women to be priested in the Church of England in 1994.
Having lived here before ordination, their family has grown up in the Diocese of St Albans. Paul and Liz will continue to live in the diocese after retirement and Liz will continue in her role at Luton Airport.
Paul is a long-time listener and contributor to BBC Three Counties Radio, where he has known many presenters, producers and managers. He encouraged Anthony Isaacs amongst others to seek a career in radio. He has also known the station’s religious producers and had the privilege of preparing the late Ian Pearce for baptism before a diocesan visit to the Holy Land, where Ian was baptised in the River Jordan by the then Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster.
The Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, speaking about the Archdeacon’s ministry, said: “Paul has been a faithful and extraordinarily effective servant of the Diocese of St Albans, where he has spent his entire ordained ministry. Having served in Chipping Barnet, Dunstable, Boxmoor and as Archdeacon of Bedford, his ministry has been appreciated both inside and outside of the church. I know many people will share my sadness that he is retiring. However, I am delighted that he will still be living in the diocese where he is hoping to exercise an active retirement ministry. I wish Paul and Liz our best wishes for this next stage of their life and ministry.”
Archdeacon Paul said:
“I was hugely surprised to be asked by Bishop Christopher Herbert to become Archdeacon of Bedford.
“It has, however, been a great privilege to serve the very diverse communities of Bedfordshire and Luton for the last 15 years. Together with my wife and family, we have been made so welcome and in particular, living in Luton has been a wonderful experience.
“I pray that my successor will find this a very rewarding ministry, supported as they will be by great colleagues, lay and ordained alike.
There will be a farewell service on Saturday 12th January at St Paul’s Bedford at 4pm. All are welcome.”