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Revd Helen O'Sullivan, Chaplain, appointed to new role

We are pleased to share the news that the Reverend Helen O’Sullivan, Chaplain of St Paul’s Cathedral, has been appointed Priest in Charge of Warkworth and Acklington and Shilbottle; Diocese of Newcastle. Taking up the post in mid-September, Helen will work with those in place to establish a three parish benefice and to build a mission and ministry team (lay and ordained) across the new benefice. 

Helen joined the Cathedral in early 2016 and is a well-loved member of the Cathedral community, providing pastoral care to people in all areas of Cathedral life and beyond. 

The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s said: “Helen has been a delight to work with, and has given an enormous amount to St Paul's over the last three years in developing further the chaplain's role in pastoral care, bringing her extensive ministerial experience into the life of the Cathedral and enabling us to improve the ways in which we work. She has cared for staff and volunteers, been available to individuals with particular life issues as well as giving more general support, and has played an important role in the School for children and families. She has taken the major role in pastoral and liturgical ministry for baptisms and weddings; she has prepared people for baptism and confirmation, and encouraged them in their journey of faith; and she has had a very significant role in furthering the Cathedral's work with members of the public with particular needs. Her warmth and her positive approach have won her many friends here, and made St Paul's a more welcoming and caring place. Her husband Jonathan has also ministered in the Cathedral, and been a particular support to her. We are glad for Helen as she goes to an appointment which will give more scope for her leadership skills, but we will miss her hugely; and we wish her and Jonathan every blessing in this new venture, in a very different setting from the City of London.”

The Reverend Helen O’Sullivan said: “The opportunity to serve the Cathedral community as Chaplain has been, and remains, a privilege and a joy. I was not looking for a move, this post appeared as though out of nowhere and I felt compelled to take a closer look. It fills me with excitement and surprise in equal measure; much as my calling to ministry did at first. It feels a very good fit, and nothing but a very good fit could entice me away from St Paul’s. Thank you for your support, and the trust you have placed in me in these last three years. Until I leave, I will continue to do what I can to contribute to St Paul’s extraordinary, and extraordinarily precious, ministry. I look forward to getting reacquainted with an area of Northumberland which holds many happy memories for me and which I will be very happy to call home”.

Helen had been a member of the congregation of St Paul’s in the late 1980s when working in London. Prior to ministry, Helen studied Theology at the University of Oxford. Having worked in the field of Mental Health in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and in logistics management for Oxford University Press, she trained for ministry and served her curacy in the Diocese of Oxford (2008-2011). Helen moved to the Diocese of Portsmouth to lead and develop a diverse ministry team across a group of rural West Wight parishes (2011-2016) before joining the Cathedral as Chaplain in 2016.