The Venerable Dr Brian Russell, currently Archdeacon of Aston in the Birmingham Diocese is to become Senior Chaplain in Oslo, following the retirement of Canon Janet Heil.
Archdeacon Jonathan Lloyd has written to the congregations in Norway to tell them that “Brian Russell is a most experienced priest and church leader, who will bring deep commitment, valuable experience and strong energy to this ministry. Bishop David will license him as your Senior Chaplain at St Edmund Oslo at 11am on Saturday 25 January 2014, which is the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul and the end of The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2014. Please pray for Brian and his wife Pam.
“Dr Brian Russell will be well known to St Edmund’s congregation as he has served as a locum Chaplain over the last few years. Born in 1950, he was ordained Deacon in 1976 and Priest in 1977. After a curacy in the Diocese of Southwark, he served both as a Parish Priest in the Diocese of Durham and was Director of Studies of the North East Ordination Course - training men and women for ordained ministry. He then became Director of Studies at Lincoln Theological College, one of the most forward-thinking theological colleges in the Church of England. Brian then moved to a senior national role in the Church of England serving for seven years as Selection Secretary and Secretary of the Committe for Theological Education of The Advisory Board of Ministry - the body which oversees the selection, training and formation of clergy across the Church of England.
“In 1993 Brian moved to the Diocese of Birmingham as The Bishop’s Director for Ministry, and in 1999 became an Honorary Canon of Birmingham Cathedral. He was collated as Archdeacon of Aston in 2005, where he has served with distinction for the last eight years, supporting and encouraging local parish ministry and church growth. Brian will bring many valuable gifts of mission, ministry, training, ecumenism and leadership to this important post of Senior Chaplain for the Anglican Church in Norway.”
Ven Brian Russell says "Following visits to St Edmund’s over the last three Summers and the formal interview, I feel a strong sense of calling to this post, backed up by the encouragement and enthusiasm shown by all I have met in Norway. We look forward very much to the licensing service on 25 January.
“Pam and I have some knowledge of the congregations in Bergen and St Olaf Balestrand, from my locum visit in 2012 and holiday visits in previous years, and we also made a brief visit to Trondheim in 2010 and met Mary. Stavanger will be new to us. I am keen to learn more about the situation of each of our congregations in Norway.
“I believe there is a very positive future for our congregations in which we can continue to offer something unique and distinctive in Norway in the coming years. I feel privileged to be able to contribute to that. My active knowledge and understanding of Nordic and Baltic Churches and societies goes back over the last 25 years, involving contacts with the Lutheran Churches, adult theological education, the training of clergy and research on the Church in these societies. This is a basis upon which I can build in the future.”