The Venerable Paul Vrolijk was formally commissioned as Archdeacon of the North West during their Synod on Friday 14th October 2016. The two-day gathering was at the Oude Abbey of Drongen, near Gent, where synod welcomed ecumenical representatives and guest speakers.

Speaking on ‘Mission in Europe’ Grace Davie, an emeritus professor in the Sociology of Religion at the University of Exeter and a senior adviser to the Impact of Religion Research Programme at Uppsala, explored the evolving place of Religion in UK and Europe, enabling members of the synod to relate with various opportunities and challenges in their various mission contexts.

Ian Carter who is the Diocesan safeguarding administrator presented an overview of the Safeguarding Policy of the Diocese in Europe. He stressed safeguarding of young people and vulnerable adults as a priority for both the Diocese in Europe and the Church of England, calling on all in leadership position and all with access to young people to adhere to guidelines of the Diocesan policy on safeguarding.

Archdeacon Paul’s commissioning was something of a “hail and farewell” event. Bishop Robert charged the new archdeacon to help carry forward mission of the Diocese within his archdeaconry in collaboration with the clergy and lay faithful.

It was also an opportunity to say farewell to former Archdeacon Meurig William, who took on new role as Archdeacon of France. The closing Eucharist on Saturday was presided over by the new archdeacon Paul, while Meurig gave his farewell address to synod delegates.

Information and pictures from Rev Augustine Nwaekwe.