THE acting Archdeacon of Richmond is set to leave North Yorkshire to become the next Dean of Chelmsford in Essex.

The Reverend Nicholas Henshall, vicar of Christ Church, Harrogate, will now lead the second smallest cathedral in the country, but with a ministry across the second largest region in the Church of England covering the whole of Essex and the East End of London.

Rev Henshall said: "I am very excited about this new post at Chelmsford Cathedral, and daunted by the responsibilities.

“The church in Essex and east London is at the cutting edge - developing fresh approaches to mission and ministry and I look forward to leading the cathedral through rapidly changing times.”

Rev Henshall, 51, came to Harrogate in 2008 to lead at Christ Church on the Stray, and since February 2013 he has also been acting Archdeacon of Richmond.

Bishop John Packer said: “Nicholas has done an amazingly good job in his temporary role leading the Richmond archdeaconry as it moves towards its future as the Archdeaconry of Richmond and Craven.

“We are grateful that he was able to take on this post in addition to running a busy parish, and although he will be missed here we wish him well for his future ministry in Chelmsford.”

The next Archdeacon of the area will be the Venerable Paul Slater, the Archdeacon of Craven, in the northern half of the Bradford diocese. He will be appointed as Archdeacon of Richmond early this year, ahead of becoming Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven with the creation of the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales on Easter Day, April 20.