New Canon Evangelist announced

Published: 30 March 2009

Revd Tony Hardy, 52, is the new Canon Evangelist for the Diocese of Manchester. Based at Manchester Cathedral, Tony will help churches across the diocese develop opportunities for mission within their communities.

A Mancunian, Tony grew up in Burnage, was ordained at Manchester Cathedral and served his curacy at Christ Church, Pennington. In 1991 he moved to Liverpool to become vicar of St Lukes, Ecclestone. Since 2000 he was Training and Leadership Advisor for the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS) in the North West of England.

Tony is a creative person with a passion for music and the arts. He taught music and design before training to be a priest, and in 2005 planted a church in Stockport called C3 which is made up of small groups of people who do arts and crafts.

C3 is an example of a ‘Fresh Expression of Church’ – a church that has grown around people’s interests, and meets at any time or place during the week. It is not confined to a church building or a Sunday service.

C3 is a community of small creativity groups across Stockport. At its heart is a small church of about 20 people. Anyone can take part in the craft groups without being a member of the church, and about 50-60 people meet to do card making, arts & crafts, photography, music & technology, creative writing, art glass, and internet & computing.

Tony Hardy is also an Associate Minister with Fresh Expressions. He has lead vision days and is co-author of Mission-Shaped Intro, a six-week course to rediscover mission and re-imagine church. The course will be used in Manchester Diocese later this year.

Revd Tony Hardy said, “I am delighted to come back to Manchester Diocese. I look forward to working with churches of all traditions and helping them develop their approach to mission in their own, unique communities. If someone had said to me – ‘Tony, you can do any job you like’, it would have been this one! I'm so excited about this opportunity to support creative mission across the diocese and I can't wait to start!”

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, said, “I am delighted that Tony Hardy is to be Canon Evangelist for the Diocese of Manchester. Tony is well-known to Church leaders of many denominations across the North West. He brings with him to Manchester his unique experience of establishing a Christ-centred creative community in Stockport. His ability to see new mission opportunities and his training experience will be greatly valued by churches across the diocese.”

The Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Govender, said, “On behalf of the Cathedral Chapter I would like to extend a warm welcome to Tony Hardy as he prepares for his new ministry among us. We wish him well in his move to the diocese and cathedral and look forward to working with him in God's service to the city and beyond.”

Tony is married to Helen, who is a special needs teacher. They have three sons.

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