Diocese appoints Chief Operating Officer and new Moderator of the Curia

The Diocese has created the new post of Chief Operating Officer and appointed Anthony Akinpelu to the new role. Fr Kieran Kirby has also been appointed as our new Moderator of the Curia. In a letter to Clergy, about the roles, Bishop Mark wrote the following:

‘For several months now, the Bishops Council, the Trustees and myself have been reviewing our Governance arrangements, and especially with a view to ensuring that we are following the most up-to-date good practise. That review has indicated we move to having a Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Diocese, especially to oversee our charitable civic responsibilities. Given that Anthony Akinpelu has effectively been doing 80% of this role, these past years, the Trustees agreed that we invite Anthony to take up the appointment. He has kindly accepted that invitation, to be our new Chief Operating Officer, for which I am very grateful.

In terms of Anthony’s oversight, the following supporting / enabling activities (the Operations) will rest with him as COO:

• Finance
• Investments
• Fundraising and Grants
• Property Maintenance
• Property Developments
• Human Resources
• Communications and PR
• Technology
• Data
• Safeguarding (with the Commission overseeing the day-to-day work)

I am aware that in making this appointment, some may think that we are treating the Church as though it were a business. However, all of us need only to reflect on those different areas of work, to realise that we must have the highest level of responsibility and accountability; people rightly expect this from us, and we expect it of one another. I am, therefore, sure that you will give Anthony the cooperation he needs, and I know he will be keen to ensure that you get the best possible support from our central services, for your priestly and diaconal ministry.

Given that Anthony will be assuming responsibility over Finance and Property, the post of Episcopal Vicar for Administration is no longer needed. However, I have asked Fr Kieran Kirby to be our new Moderator of the Curia. This is an important role in being my pastoral face and hands to and with the Curia and I am grateful to Kieran for assuming this responsibility. He will work closely with Anthony in ensuring that relationships with parishes and with Curial staff, are pastoral as well as professional.

These changes are effective from the 1st February, and I ask your prayer for all concerned and for our continued mission to proclaim the Gospel.

Assuring you of my kindest wishes and prayers and asking for your prayer for me.

Yours devotedly,

Rt Rev Mark O’Toole
Bishop of Plymouth’

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