Honour for Crudwell parish priest
A CRUDWELL parish priest celebrated two milestones last weekend, as he became an Honorary Canon of Bristol Cathedral and the longest-serving priest in the diocese.
The Rev Barry Raven was installed as an Honorary Canon of Bristol Cathedral, along with three other clergy, at a special service which took place at the cathedral last Sunday afternoon.
Mr Raven said: “I was astonished when I found out I had been nominated. It was very humbling to discover the bishop had decided to recognise my work in this way. It is a huge honour and a great privilege.”
Mr Raven was ordained as a deacon in 1972 and qualified as a priest the following year. He celebrated his 40th anniversary of working as a priest this June and is now the longest-serving parish priest in the diocese of Bristol.
“I realised early on in life that I wanted to devote my life to the Church,” he said. “I was in my teens when I had a clear idea that I wanted to become a priest, but I’m still learning about the job every day – it is a continuing and ongoing challenge.”
Mr Raven said the role of parish priest has changed significantly during the last four decades. He said: “When I first started out, each priest worked in one parish, but now there are fewer of us and I’m responsible for six parishes.”
Born in Swindon, Mr Raven was ordained in Bristol Cathedral, before working in Henbury, South Marston and Coalpit Heath. He is currently the parish priest for Braydon Brook Churches.
“Some priests move all around the country, but I’ve always been very content to work in the diocese of Bristol,” he said.
Honorary Canonries are bestowed by the bishop on those who have made a notable contribution to the diocese.
“I am delighted to be able to appoint these outstanding people as Honorary Canons. Each of them has shown exceptional commitment to God,” said Bishop Mike Hill. “It is great to be able to honour them in this way.”