The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill has appointed a successor to the post of Archdeacon of Stoke. The new Archdeacon of Stoke will be the Revd Matthew Parker who is currently Team Rector of the Leek and Meerbrook Team of churches and Rural Dean for the Leek Deanery.Im delighted that Matthew has accepted the appointment. I think he was a little surprised as he recognised, as we did, that there was a very strong field of candidates. It was really Matthews great enthusiasm for the job that impressed the interviewing panel.Matthew (49) was one of the youngest curates in the country when he was ordained in Twickenham. He then served in a number of parishes in Stockport before moving to Leek in 2000. He will take up his post in September, being the Bishop of Staffords right hand man in supporting the clergy and parishes throughout the northern half of Staffordshire."Having lived and worked in North Staffordshire for the past 13 years, I am very much looking forward to serving the people and parishes of this wonderful part of the country in a new role. There is a vibrancy and diversity about Stoke Archdeaconry, with many gifted and committed people looking for new ways of sharing the Christian faith with their communities. Whilst no one underestimates the scale of the challenges ahead, I am delighted to have this opportunity to encourage and work alongside clergy and parishes as we seek to grow God's kingdom"The news was given to his congregations in Leek this morning. He will be moving the 15 miles to the Archdeacons base in Newcastle-Under-Lyme with his wife Sarah and their three children. On his days off in order to relax he likes to walk his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Maggie, frequent coffee shops or play his guitar at high volume.