THE Rev Canon Ian Bussell has been appointed as the new Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Exeter.

Mr Bussell is currently Head of Ministerial Development at the Diocese of Gloucester.

His new role will see him overseeing mission and ministry across Devon, including taking responsibility for continuing ministerial development, and lay and clergy training in the Diocese.

He will be leading the Diocese of Exeter’s Mission and Ministry Team, which supports and resources work with adults, children and families, lay discipleship, social justice and creation care/carbon net zero.

Ian said: “Last summer I was invited to be part of the chaplaincy team at the Exeter diocesan clergy conference. 

“That was when I first glimpsed the creativity, humour and faithfulness within the Diocese of Exeter. The mood was honest and hopeful, and I felt very much at home. 

“Little did I know that I would soon be given the opportunity of coming to the Diocese to work alongside such creative clergy and lay ministers in taking the next steps together of proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and living out the kingdom of God in Devon. 

“I look forward to meeting you, working alongside you, wondering with you, laughing and crying with you as we discover what God has waiting for us round the corner.”

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Rev Robert Atwell, said: “I am delighted that Ian is joining us. He is a creative person who will bring imagination and flair to the role of Director of Mission and Ministry. I look forward to working in partnership with him.”

Ian grew up in Kent and read History at Reading University. He taught secondary maths before training in mission and ministry at All Nations Christian College. 

He then served as a Lay Assistant in the West End of London during which time he also trained as a Psychotherapist. 

He followed a call to ordained ministry and trained at Queen’s College Birmingham, followed by a curacy in Twickenham, Surrey. His first incumbency was in Godalming in Surrey.

In 2011 he became Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO), co-ordinator of curate training and Deputy Director of Mission and Ministry in the Diocese of Gloucester, subsequently exchanging the role of DDO for responsibility for clergy training (CMD).

Ian is also an accredited coach and mindfulness teacher. He is married with four young adult sons, plus “two dogs and too many house plants”.

In his spare time, he enjoys walking with his two spaniels, reading historical fiction, learning to paint and building garden furniture. 

He said “The Vicar who inspired me to offer for ordained ministry said: ‘A priest is someone who provides places for other people to do interesting things’. 

“It’s a very good summary of my vocation and passion as I love creating the places, relationships and activities that enable people to do their interesting life and faith journeys.”

Ian will take up his new role in May.

He succeeds the Rev Prebendary Philip Sourbut who is retiring in June after eight years in the post.

They will be working alongside each other initially to ensure a smooth transition of this key role.