CAPTION: The Rev'd Jon Marlow will be starting his new role on 1 October

New role for man who brought great creativity to Devon

Posted: 13th August, 2020

Revd Jon Marlow, the Diocese of Exeter’s Mission Community Development Team Leader, is to take up an exciting new role as the Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations Officer for the Diocese of Canterbury.

Jon moved to Devon in 2006 to start his curacy at St. Matthew’s Elburton and has spent the last 14 years based in Plymouth. He became vicar of St. Pancras, Pennycross in 2010 and moved to his current role as Mission Community Development Team Leader for the Diocese of Exeter in 2018.

At different points during the 12 years in parish ministry Jon has been a Foundation Governor at a new secondary Church of England Academy,  Dean of Studies for the Peninsula Gospel Partnership Training Course and Associate Tutor at Plymouth Marjon University, Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands, Assistant Rural Dean of Plymouth City Deanery and a member of Diocesan Synod, Bishop’s Council and the Diocesan Board of Patronage.

In his diocesan role, Jon has worked closely with Deaneries and Mission Communities to develop strategic Mission Action Plans (MAPs) which help them to use the gifts and resources which God has given them as they seek to grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy. Over the past few months of lockdown, Jon has had a particular focus on researching how the pandemic and the associated restrictions are impacting on the Mission and Ministry of churches in Devon and on the work of the diocesan staff team.

Jon officiating at a wedding in Wembury last summer. © Liberty Pearl Photography 2019

The Mission Enabler for Exeter Diocese, the Rev’d James Grier, said: “Jon has been a highly valued member of the Diocesan team for the last few years in his role as Mission Community Development Team Leader. We are sad to see him leave our diocese, where he served his curacy at Elburton and first incumbency at St Pancras Plymouth before taking up the role of Mission Community Development Team Leader.

“He has recently made significant contributions to our thinking and understanding during lockdown with his particular gifts in gleaning and distilling information from research.”

The Director of Mission and Ministry, the Rev’d Philip Sourbut, said: “I will greatly miss Jon’s wisdom, skill  and creativity.”

Jon will be remembered for his innovate visual research methods, especially the Answers on a Postcard exercise, which has allowed over 1000 people in Mission Communities across the diocese to have significant conversations about what God is calling their church to be and to do over the next five years. He has also played a major role in training clergy as they start their first incumbent-status role, has taught on the Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) programme and in local theological colleges and has manged to ensure that de-caff filter coffee is available at all training events in the Old Deanery. He will also be fondly remembered for his in-depth knowledge of what makes a perfect cheese board.

As Diocesan Director of Ordinands (DDO) for the Diocese of Canterbury, Jon will be responsible for supporting individuals as they explore a call to ministry as a priest or deacon in the Church of England and will accompany them as they clarify their call, attend a Bishops’ Advisory Panel (BAP) and then be a point of contact through their training and into curacy. As Vocations Officer, Jon will lead a volunteer team promoting a wide range of ministries across the diocese and encouraging people to listen to God’s call to serve in a way that fits their passions and gifts.

Jon will start his new role on 1 October 2020, after taking some time off during September to prepare to move to East Kent with his family.