CAPTION: Both Revd Preb Nick Shutt and Canon Andrew Beane have used innovative ways to help their local churches diversify

Church escape rooms and Champing: Devon’s two new Archdeacons’ track-record in using technology for mission

Posted: 15th April, 2019

After a rigorous selection process, two talented priests with a track record in using technology, glamping and even escape rooms as a tool for mission have been appointed to key roles in the Church of England in Devon.

The Reverend Prebendary Nick Shutt has been appointed as the Archdeacon of Plymouth. He has already been acting-up in the role for over a year. His ministry will be inaugurated at a special service at St Andrew’s, Plymouth, on Tuesday 18 June.

The Reverend Canon Andrew Beane has been appointed as the new Archdeacon of Exeter. He will succeed the Venerable Christopher Futcher who is moving to become Archdeacon of Cyprus later this year. His ministry will be inaugurated at a special service in Ottery St Mary on Wednesday 25 September.

The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Robert Atwell, said: “I am delighted that Nick Shutt and Andrew Beane have accepted my invitation to become Archdeacon of Plymouth and Archdeacon of Exeter.

“Nick Shutt is widely respected as a person of compassion with a ‘can do’ attitude to life.

“Andrew Beane is currently Team Rector of Aylsham in Norfolk.

“As a priest with oversight of a large clutch of rural parishes, Andrew understands well both the joys and the challenges of rural life and ministry.

“We look forward to welcoming both of them in their new roles as together we seek to serve the people of Devon with joy.”

Canon Andrew Beane is married with a family. He is currently Rural Dean and Team Rector of Aylsham in the Diocese of Norwich, working across 18 parishes

Before ordination Andrew worked in the electricity industry and says that he and his family are looking forward to moving to Devon.

One of his churches, St Andrew’s Blickling, became the first in the UK to host a live “escape game” in which players are “locked” in a room and have to answer clues to solve a history-based mystery in order to win their freedom.

Revd Preb Nick Shutt has helped bring Champing to Devon

He has used technology as a “tool for mission”, developing apps, working with rural broadband providers and engaging with social media in order to reach a younger and wider range of people.

He said: “It is a great privilege and honour to have been invited to become the next Archdeacon of Exeter, and to join the team in Devon.

I am really excited about getting to know the diverse network of communities served by the Church in and around the city of Exeter and the towns & villages of Mid and East Devon.

“I hope to bring a sense of creativity to the role as I work with people to support them in mission and ministry.

“One of my passions is to build community and reach out to those who live in the parishes in which we serve.

“How do we use our church buildings as places of Christian hospitality and witness? How do we make connections with children and young people, especially through our work with schools?”

Prebendary Nick Shutt is a former solicitor, a keen photographer and a biker. He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

Since 2008 he has been Team Rector of the West Dartmoor Mission Community, which has pioneered champing (camping in churches) in Devon and worked to improve broadband connectivity for local residents.

He said: “I have enjoyed working with people across the archdeaconry over the last year and look forward to continue celebrating the good news of God’s love demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.

“It is daunting, humbling and exciting to live and work in such a vibrant place as Plymouth. I count it a real privilege to do what I do.”

There are four archdeacons in the Diocese of Exeter based in Plymouth, Exeter, Totnes (South Devon) and Barnstaple (North Devon).

They work alongside the three bishops under the leadership of the Bishop of Exeter to enable and support churches in Devon to live out the vision of the Diocese of Exeter to “Grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy.”