THE Venerable Jonathan Gough, former Assistant Chaplain General to the Army, has been installed as the new Archdeacon for Richmond and Craven.

At Sunday’s service at Ripon Cathedral, presided over by Bishop of Kirkstall, the Rt Revd Paul Slater, Archdeacon Jonathan made his Declaration of Assent and swore oaths of allegiance before a congregation of about 300 family, friends, clergy including the Diocesan Secretary, Debbie Child.

He told the congregation: “I am looking forward to meeting and working with people in this wonderful area.

“My wife and I have lived here twice before, and when this opportunity arose I had to answer a calling.”

He is married to Canon Flora Winfield, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Commonwealth and an Army reserve chaplain, who gave the Old Testament Reading on Nineveh from the book of the prophet Jonah.

In the absence of Bishop Nick Baines, who is currently on sabbatical, Bishop Paul, himself a former Archdeacon of Craven, led the service and gave the sermon in which he welcomed Jonathan to his role in the young diocese.

Drawing on the reading from Jonah, he joked:”This is a big area to cover - I don’t know if you could walk across it in three days or not.

“It’s not got a Nineveh - although it does have Harrogate.”

Bishop Paul said how the “glorious Archdeaconry of Richmond and Craven” was looking forward to Jonathan bringing a new ‘period of stability’ and urged everyone to cherish him and Flora as they progress both its identity and that of the Diocese of Leeds.

Jonathan grew up in rural Devon and trained for ordination at Lampeter and Oxford.

He was a curate in North Devon and in Gloucester, before joining the Royal Army Chaplains Department in 1989.

He served as an Army chaplain in garrisons and training units in the UK and in Germany, and deployed with soldiers on operations in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.

His service included tours of duty as Senior Chaplain to Catterick Garrison, and to the Army Foundation College, Harrogate.

In 2001 he left the Regular Army to become Ecumenical Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace, working for both Dr George Carey and Dr Rowan Williams.

He is deeply committed to supporting ministry in rural areas and his interests include the countryside, history, ecumenism, classical and baroque music and fly fishing.