A Parish Priest with wide experience of ministry in the armed forces, in education and in parish ministry has been appointed as the next Dean of Gibraltar. 57 year old Dr John Paddock is currently Vicar of St Georges, Tuffley with St Margaret’s, Whaddon in Gloucestershire (UK) and hopes to take up his new post in mid December.
Dr Paddock already has experience of serving as a priest in the Diocese in Europe, having previously been Assistant Chaplain in Madrid. His degree and research were in Hispanic Studies; he is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and speaks a number of other languages including Russian and Greek. He also holds the higher degree of Master of Laws (Cardiff).
He will come to the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity which is both a parish church and the mother church of the Diocese in Europe during a major appeal to raise £850,000 to replace the roof, build an enhanced entrance onto the Cathedral Square to improve access for both churchgoers and tourists and to fund a number of other necessary conservation and restoration measures. Dr Paddock says “The Cathedral is an important part of the very distinguished history of Gibraltar, and, indeed a focus for the modern daily life of the vast Diocese of Europe. We all therefore have cause to be grateful to all those who have gone before us in faithfully and lovingly preserving and transmitting to us this “jewel in the crown” of Gibraltar’s history and heritage, and we too share the same privileged responsibility of handing on this important building in good order and condition to the generations yet to come.”
Dr Paddock hopes his experience as a Chaplain in the RAF will also be helpful to his new work in Gibraltar which still has importance as a military base and where there are strong links with British forces. He says of the work of the Dean “I am looking forward to contributing to the spiritual life of the community among all people, so that every life and talent is appreciated, valued and celebrated to the glory of God. We all have a great deal to offer to enrich and enhance the daily life of every member of our community.
At his Installation on Tuesday 16th December 2008 the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Dr Geoffrey Rowell, will formally introduce Dr Paddock to the Cathedral, Gibraltar and representatives of the wider church around Europe.
Born in August 1951, John Allan Barnes Paddock studied at Liverpool, Oxford, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester Universities.
He trained for ordination at St. Stephen’s House, Oxford and was ordained in 1980, and priested in 1981.
In addition to his time in the Anglican church in Madrid, he has held office in the dioceses of Gloucester, Rochester and Canterbury.
He has been a Chaplain with the RAF. One of his postings was a three year tour as Chaplain to HM Forces in Hong Kong, where the then governor, Sir David Wilson, particularly valued his ministry. He also has considerable musical talents (singing, composing and piano playing). He also served on the Staff of RAF College, Cranwell, the Officer & Pilot Training College of the Royal Air Force)
He was also a school chaplain in Lancaster, Orpington and Croydon.
His hobbies and interests include Music, Literature, Travel, Canon & Ecclesiastical Law. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
He is accompanied by his wife, Jennifer, who herself had a career in the United Nations and as a Member of HM Foreign and Commonwealth Office.