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Introducing our New CEO

Peter RouchWe are delighted to announce that the Board have appointed the Ven Dr Peter Rouch to the CEO role. Peter is currently working on the transforming effectiveness agenda for the Church of England and until recently was Archdeacon in the Winchester Diocese. Peter has been a long-time supporter of Church Army, having been involved with the Southampton Centre of Mission during his time as Archdeacon of Bournemouth.

After an early career with Barclays Bank, Peter trained for ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge. A curacy in London was followed by a period as a research fellow on the staff of St Stephen’s House in Oxford. Peter was Priest in Charge of two parishes near the centre of Manchester, where people struggled with lots of the challenges that will be so familiar to those who have served in the Church Army mission community. Peter says that this period of ministry was hugely significant in shaping his passions and priorities. After nearly a decade as Archdeacon of Bournemouth, serving across the breadth of Anglican traditions, and a short period at Lambeth, Peter is hugely looking forward to becoming part of Church Army.

Peter is married to Tracey who trained as a youth worker and has created several youth projects, all of which continue to flourish. Tracey has been leading mental health support for young people in a large city-wide youth project in Southampton. Peter and Tracey have two daughters: Rebecca studies flute at the Guildhall School of Music in London and Kezia studies Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Birmingham. The boundless energy of Jaffa, the Brittany Spaniel, completes the household.

Peter says: “There is, of course, understandable interest in what I have done and the places I have ministered until now. It strikes me, however, that when all this has been said, the story’s hardly been told. That story is written in the people with whom I have been privileged to share my life; people too numerous to name individually, whose gifts and wisdom have shaped me. It seems to me that deeply embedded in the heart of Church Army is this very understanding, that it is our lives and the practical love we offer that must join our words as we proclaim the God of love. Lives shape lives and the life of God in Christ shapes all.

I have watched the videos and read the blogs; “We are Church Army”. In the context of the centres of mission, the key projects, those who encourage and enable the evangelism of God’s people and support this mission with research and practical care, that is a wonderful thing to be able to claim. At this point, I would like to thank the trustees, senior staff and especially Des Scott for their leadership and care in this period of transition and discovery for Church Army. I am excited, humbled and challenged that the trustees have invited me to weave my life with yours within the Church Army mission community. I look forward so very much to this and to being able to place my life alongside your own in service of God and say with you, “We are Church Army”.

Peter, together with his wife Tracey, will be moving to Sheffield to take up the post in May.