Diocese of Carlisle

    New Archdeacon of Carlisle Appointed

    Latest News
    25 March 2024

    A vicar who was born and raised in Cumbria, later serving her curacy in the county, is to be the new Archdeacon of Carlisle.

    The Rev Ruth Newton will take up the post in August, succeeding the Ven Richard Pratt who will retire at the end of March. She will take responsibility for the Deaneries of Carlisle, Brampton, Penrith and Appleby.

    For Ruth it means a return to her home county, having been brought up in Carlisle, later working in the city and - following her ordination in 2002 - serving the parishes of Caldbeck, Castle Sowerby and Sebergham. She is currently serving as a Vicar near Ripon.

    Ruth said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed; it feels as if I am coming home. My faith story is bound up with so many churches in and around Carlisle. It will be a privilege to be able to support those congregations in my new role as well as so many other churches.

    “For a long time, I have been watching the development of mission communities across the county and have seen the momentum build around the ecumenical God for All vision and strategy with its four key themes: Speak Boldly, Follow Daily, Care Deeply and Tread Gently. They are themes which really resonate for me and I’m keen to help lead this forward.”

    Growing up, Ruth worshipped at St Elisabeth’s Harraby, then St James Carlisle before her family moved to Dalston and she joined St Michael’s where she became head chorister. She was also the youngest churchwarden in the country – aged 26 - when serving at St Giles Great Orton.

    After training for ordination at St John’s Nottingham and serving her curacy in Cumbria she was appointed Vicar of Hutton Cranswick with Skerne Bewick and Watton in the Diocese of

    York in 2006, also serving as Assistant warden of Readers and as Rural Dean. Five years later she became Priest in Charge of Kirlington, Burneston, Wath and Pickhill in the Diocese of

    Ripon and Leeds. From 2015 she served as Canon Evangelist at Ripon Cathedral.

    Since 2017, Ruth has served as a Priest in the parishes of Sharow, Copt Hewick, and Marton Le Moor in the Diocese of Leeds. For the last two years she has also held the role of Mission and Evangelism Tutor at St Hild Theological College Mirfield. She has also been a General Synod member – the Church of England’s national assembly.

    Ruth is a passionate advocate for rural ministry and environmental matters. She has sat as a National Rural Affairs Group Church of England representative on the Arthur Rank Centre’s trustee board. And at Leeds Diocese she has acted as an Environmental Working Group Training and Theology Advisor. She co-created and co-developed a new lay ministry pathway, the “Eco-Mission Enabler” and runs an environmental blog site “Greening the lectionary”.

    She added: “Understandably I shall be sad to leave behind the people in my parishes who I have served and who I’ve drawn so close to.

    “I give thanks for their continued faithful service and also for the rich spirit I’ve seen demonstrated in all those training for ordination at St Hild’s. It has been a privilege to serve them all.”

    Ruth is married to Andrew and has two grown up daughters, Victoria, 25, and Ellen, 21, who is currently studying at the University of Cumbria.

    The Acting Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev Rob Saner-Haigh, said: “We are thrilled to be able to welcome Ruth to this role and back home to Cumbria.

    “She will bring great insight and expertise to the role – notably around rural ministry and environmental matters – and we very much look forward to her being a valued and respected member of the Bishop’s Leadership team as well as taking on the role of Strategic Development Officer in support of our mission communities.

    “We look forward to welcoming her and Andrew back to the county in the summer. Our prayers are with them both as they prepare to make the move.”

    Ruth will begin her ministry in the Diocese at the beginning of August and will be officially installed as Archdeacon of Carlisle at a special service to be held at Carlisle Cathedral on a date yet to be agreed.


    For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Head of Communications, on 07469 153658 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.