Church 18.10.23

Interim Vicar is announced for dynamic York Church

Reverend Andy Baker has been announced as the Interim Priest-in-Charge (Vicar) of St. Michael le Belfrey (known as The Belfrey), a thriving Anglican church in York city centre. The Parochial Church Council for St Michael le Belfrey is delighted to announce Andy’s appointment by the Bishop of Selby, following the departure of the former vicar Matthew Porter in June, who left to become the Bishop of Bolton.

The Belfrey, which has a 600 strong congregation, has recently moved into the De Grey Rooms, while undergoing its exciting £10.5m building project (entitled Impact) at St Michael le Belfrey. Having been Associate Vicar at the church for more than four years, as well as Chair of the Impact project board, Andy Baker takes up the interim post for three years. This will bring stability to the congregation and leadership during this key phase, seeing the building project through to completion and the return to the church building in 2026.

Archdeacon of York Sam Rushton commented: “I am delighted that Andy Baker has been confirmed Priest-in-Charge of St Michael le Belfrey. It is a key time as the church building is restored and services and ministries delivered in the De Grey Rooms. Andy’s existing ministry in the church means he is a much trusted leader at The Belfrey which enables him to step up as the head of this large resource church for the Diocese.”

Andy, who originates from Manchester, lives in the city with his wife Hayley and their two young children. Thrilled with the decision he said: “Being officially made Priest-in-Charge of this innovative church is hugely exciting as I can see Impact through to its completion and lead The Belfrey to new growth from our fabulous temporary home at the De Grey Rooms.”

He continues; “The Impact project will transform the church building and ensure The Belfrey is fit for purpose practically and spiritually to serve the city of York and community better, along with its 35,000+ visitors a year. Now that we have the required approvals from City of York Council and the Chancellor for the Diocese of York, we are really looking forward to starting construction in 2024. It will be wonderful to see how our medieval Grade 1 listed building better supports The Belfrey’s vision to ‘Serve God’s Transformation of the North’.