Julian returns as Archdeacon of Walsall
The Revd Julian Francis will return to the Diocese of Lichfield as the new Archdeacon of Walsall.
Julian moved to the West Midlands when he was Associate Minister at St Andrew’s, West Bromwich, and Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns Officer for Lichfield Diocese, from 1999-2002, and has served in the region ever since.
Currently Vicar of St George’s Edgbaston in Birmingham Diocese, he is eagerly anticipating his new role in which he will have responsibility for churches across a large part of South Staffordshire and the Black Country including Walsall, Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
Julian said: “I am delighted to be returning to Lichfield Diocese, renewing old acquaintances and meeting colleagues and partners in the Black Country. Our churches are wonderfully placed to be a warm, generous and open presence throughout the area. I look forward greatly to working with parishes, chaplains, schools and fresh expressions to share the good news of the love of God we know through Christ and to be part of the joyful transformation of our varied and vibrant communities.”
Julian was ordained in 1991 in Southwark Diocese and served as a curate in Wimbledon before becoming vicar in Cottingley, Bradford. After his time in Lichfield Diocese, he became Team Rector in Coventry before he was National Training Co-ordinator for Minority Ethnic Anglicans from 2008-2011. Julian has spent the last eight years as vicar in Edgbaston, an area with great ethnic, socio-economic and religious diversity where his focus has been on using the church as a “community catalyst” through school partnerships and special events. He also served recently as Interim Archdeacon of Birmingham.
Julian (59) is married to Jane who has a lead role in Birmingham Children’s Trust adoption service. They have four children. Julian enjoys golf, cricket and going to the theatre and cinema in his spare time.
He takes over from the Venerable Sue Weller who was recently named the new Archdeacon Missioner in the Diocese of Lichfield, a role which combines the responsibilities of Archdeacon of Lichfield with a role as Missioner across the diocese and an attachment at Lichfield Cathedral.
Both Archdeacons will work within the Wolverhampton Area Senior Staff team, led by the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Right Revd Clive Gregory, who said: “I am delighted to be welcoming a priest colleague with Julian’s huge breadth of gifts and experience.
“I am sure he will quickly endear himself to the diverse churches and communities of the Archdeaconry, not least because he already has an understanding of and heart for the people of the Black Country.”
The Diocesan Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, added: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Julian back to Lichfield Diocese and to my senior staff team. He brings a wealth of experience to the role as a church leader in a variety of diverse and challenging areas. I am sure that the churches across South Staffordshire and the Black Country will benefit from his enthusiasm and experience.”
Julian will begin the role following his installation and licensing service at Lichfield Cathedral on 8 November. A welcome service for the new Wolverhampton Episcopal Area team will take place at St Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton, on 17 November.