St Leonards rector appointed Archdeacon of Chichester

The Revd Luke Irvine-Capel SSC
The Revd Luke Irvine-Capel SSC

A rector from St Leonards-on-Sea is set to be the next Archdeacon of Chichester.

The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has announced today (Sunday, January 6) that The Revd Luke Irvine-Capel SSC, currently Rector of Christ Church, is to take up the role.

Fr Luke began his ministry in the Church of Wales after training for the priesthood at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield.

He moved to the London Diocese in 2003 to be rector of Cranford, before taking up the post of vicar of St Gabriel’s, Pimlico.

In 2013 he was licensed as rector of Christ Church and St Mary Magdalen and St Peter and St Paul, St Leonards-on-Sea.

In 2017 he was also licensed as the interim priest in charge of St Clements with All Saints, Hastings, while continuing as Rector of Christ Church, St Leonards.

His appointment as archdeacon was welcomed by The Bishop of Chichester, who said: “Luke Irvine-Capel has rapidly been recognised in this diocese as a prayerful, wise and effective pastor, a missionary priest who has seen his congregation grow, and a person of theological depth who can apply his intellect to the wide range of complex issues that face any incumbent.

“I am confident that he will move swiftly and carefully into the ministry of an archdeacon, serving those in his care with the same dedication that has marked his ministry in parishes.”

Fr Luke, who is married to Ruth, a teacher, said: “I am honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve the Diocese as Archdeacon of Chichester.

“While I will miss Christ Church, St Leonards and St Clement with All Saints, Hastings, after five-and-a-half happy years, my time there has enriched my life in many ways, which I know will help sustain me in my new responsibilities.

“We are each called to walk into the fulfilment of Our Lord’s promises, and should do so with confidence, hope and joy.

“With that in mind I look forward to deepening my knowledge and understanding of all the parishes in the Archdeaconry to help build a community of mutual support and learning, so as to give ever more effective witness to the Good News.”

Fr Luke and Ruth have three children aged 13, 12 and eight. In their spare time they enjoy music and taking Dunstan, the family dog, out on regular walks, allowing them to explore the beautiful Sussex countryside and coastal walks.

As archdeacon, Fr Luke will work as one of four archdeacons supporting the bishop, suffragan bishops and other senior staff members in the day to day running of the Diocese. He succeeds The Venerable Douglas McKittrick who retired last year.

Fr Luke will be licensed as Archdeacon on Tuesday May 9 at 5.30pm in Chichester Cathedral.