History was made on Saturday 22nd January as Southwell Minster received its first ever Canon Missioner.

The Revd Paul Rattigan was installed at a special service attended by a large congregation from both Southwell and Leicester, where until recently Paul held the position of Canon Chancellor at the cathedral there.

Paul will be responsible for overseeing the cathedral's work on areas of eco- and social justice ministry, education, children and families work, and pastoral care, as well as developing the Minster's new partnership with the Christian development charity A Rocha UK.

The first church at Southwell was founded in the eighth century as a 'Minster', meaning a church from which clergy would go out to 'minister' to the surrounding area at a time when this part of the country was still in the process of accepting Christianity. In the new context, as Nottinghamshire emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic, Paul will lead the Minster's work of engaging in mission with the town, diocese, and county.

Paul comes to Southwell bringing a wealth of experience of mission in both cathedral and parish ministry. Originally from Birmingham, he has lived and ministered in various places including Liverpool, and most recently Leicester.

Paul said: "I am looking forward to breaking new ground as Canon Missioner here in Southwell Minster and wider. Drawing on the prayers and resources of the Minster I will seek to encourage mission in its broadest sense. From proclaiming the Good News of Jesus to speaking out on issues of injustice to caring for creation. This is clearly only achievable with others and so I look forward to working with partners from across the town, diocese, and county, as together we seek God."

The Dean of Southwell, the Very Revd Nicola Sullivan, commented: "I am delighted to welcome Paul into the clergy team at the Minster. He joins at an exciting time of opportunity for the cathedral to be more outward focused in sharing God's love and hope with our town and diocese."

Photo courtesy of Brian Pickering