A new Area Dean has been appointed for Tunstall Deanery in the north of Lancashire by the County’s Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson.

The Rev Damian Porter, 47, Vicar of Warton St Oswald with Yealand Conyers St John, takes up the post held by Canon Paul Warren of Silverdale St John Church.

Mr Porter was previously a vicar in the region at churches in Blackpool and St Annes on Sea and for a time was also Area Dean of Kirkham Deanery.

The Diocese of Blackburn, which covers the whole of Lancashire, is split into 14 ‘Deaneries’ from Tunstall Deanery in the north to Chorley Deanery in the south and from Blackpool Deanery in the west to Pendle Deanery in the east. Each Deanery is run by the Area Dean, who also retains his or her role as a local parish priest in addition to the area duties.

These duties include:

• helping the Bishop in his care of the Deanery

• providing a supportive and collaborative leadership for mission and ministry in the Deanery

• convening the Deanery Chapter and co-chairing the Deanery Synod meetings and the work of Deanery Synod

• sometimes deputising for the Archdeacon Area Deans also usually have a significant role during clergy vacancies, along with churchwardens and also have a role in the appointment of a new incumbent.

Mr Porter grew up in Staffordshire, in the Diocese of Lichfield, and trained for the priesthood at Lincoln Theological College.

He was ordained at Lichfield in 1992 and served his curacy at Pelsall, in the West Midlands before coming to The Church of England in Lancashire (Diocese of Blackburn) in 1996 to be the Vicar of St Anne, Greenlands, in Blackpool and then, five years later, to the Parish of St Annes on Sea, St Anne (Heyhouses). During this time he also served for a time as Area Dean of Kirkham Deanery.

Mr Porter has spent the last five years in the north of the Diocese in the more Rural parishes of Warton, Borwick and Yealand Conyers, near Carnforth.

He said: “I enjoy being a Parish Priest, and I look forward to continuing that ministry while also seeking to serve the parishes, clergy and people of the Tunstall Deanery and the Diocese of Blackburn as Area Dean.”

Bishop Julian added: “Damian brings much experience to the role of Area Dean of Tunstall and I am looking forward to working with him in the coming months and years.”

Married to Yvonne, with a son, Chad (18) Rev. Porter has a strong interest in pilgrimage, and has led several to places including The Holy Land, Assisi, Rome, Lindisfarne and Walsingham. In his spare time he enjoys anything to do with food; caravanning; crown green bowling and supporting Morecambe Football Club.