A FORMER Harrogate vicar has been appointed as Archdeacon of Leeds.
The Rev Canon Paul Hooper, 59, was vicar at St Mark’s Church until 2009 and went on to work for the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds in a newly-created role.
Canon Hooper said: “I am absolutely delighted that I’ve been asked to take up this post and look forward to sharing in the life of the church in the city at a time of great challenge and many opportunities.”
Prior to taking the position of director of clergy development - a role created in response to the changing terms and conditions of service for clergy nationally - he served as vicar of St Mark’s for more than 14 years. Under his leadership, the church grew significantly and underwent an £800,000 redevelopment.
Bishop John Packer said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Paul Hooper as the next Archdeacon of Leeds.
“Paul is someone with a deep experience and knowledge of the church, someone who has a proven track record of working with and supporting colleagues, who has been deeply immersed in parish ministry and has had a wide experience of the diocese.”
Having spent his childhood in Sussex, Canon Hooper moved to Leeds to work for the council as a town planning trainee at the age of 18 before going on to study town planning at Manchester University.
With his new role in Leeds, he is returning to the city which gave him his first ordained ministry, as an assistant curate at St George’s Church in 1981. He was then appointed diocesan youth officer and later chaplain and communications officer to the Bishop of Ripon, before joining St Mark’s in 1995.
Canon Hooper still lives in Harrogate with his wife Judi and the couple have three grown-up sons.