A FORMER top civil servant is the new Archdeacon of Chester.
Michael Gilbertson, who is expected to begin his role in September, is currently a senior clergyman in County Durham.
The Rev Canon Dr Gilbertson, 48, worked as a senior civil servant in the 1980s and early 90s before becoming an Anglican priest. He was private secretary to three successive Trade and Industry Secretaries.
As Archdeacon of Chester, Dr Gilbertson will have pastoral and administrative responsibilities for parishes in the western half of the Diocese of Chester.
He said of his new ministry: “I feel both humbled and excited at this new opportunity to serve God in the Diocese of Chester.
“This area is where I grew up, so it’s a kind of homecoming for me. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and learning more about the issues facing the Church locally.”
Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Dr Peter Forster, said: “I am delighted Michael Gilbertson has been appointed as Archdeacon of Chester.
“He will bring a wide range of experience and talent to the role.”
The new Archdeacon succeeds Donald Allister, who is now the Bishop of Peterborough.
Dr Gilbertson is married to Jenny, 48, a solicitor, and they have two sons, Matthew, 16, and Duncan, 13.
He is a keen jazz and classical pianist and enjoys hill walking, cooking, and sport. He is a keen Manchester United fan.
He was ordained as a deacon in 1997 and as a Church of England priest in 1998. He has been vicar of Stranton since 2000 and Area Dean of Hartlepool since 2002.
A teacher of theology, an author, and a member of Diocesan Synod in Durham, he currently chairs the Burbank Forum, which works with various agencies to improve life on a deprived housing estate.