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5th December 2017

Lancashire Vicar appointed Prior of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed a Blackpool vicar’s appointment as the new Prior of the Community of St Anselm, the Archbishop’s monastic-inspired community for young Christians.

The Rev Dr Rosalyn Murphy, who is currently vicar of St Thomas’ Church in Blackpool, will take up the role in April 2018. She takes over from the Rev Anders Litzell, Prior of the Community since it launched in 2015.

Dr Murphy, an Anglican priest and biblical scholar originally from the American southwest, was a training facilitator for curates and new priests in four Church of England dioceses.

She is also a published biblical scholar and has been a frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions and organisations including UNESCO and the universities of Durham, Cambridge, Kent and Bristol, among others.

Dr Murphy said today: “It is an honour to be selected as Prior to the Community of Saint Anselm. While it will be quite different from parish work, I’m looking forward to mentoring young Christian leaders from around the world as they seek to broaden their faith.

“Serving within a monastic community where there will be opportunities to teach, pastor, and learn from the diverse cultural and social experiences of others, will be a welcome challenge. I believe being part of the community will allow me to play a meaningful role in shaping the future Church on an international scale.”

On her current Diocese, and referring to the Diocesan Vision 2026, Dr Murphy added: "Living in Blackpool has been a unique opportunity, and very different from my previous role in Durham. I've learnt so much from the people, my deanery peers, Archdeacon Michael Everitt and Bishop Julian Henderson. The pastoral support has been amazing!

“It's also been such a pleasure to witness the new direction the Diocese has taken over the past 10 years as mission work takes centre stage.

“Whilst I am excited about the future, there are many positive experiences that I will draw upon from my time in Blackpool. The only regret I have is I never got to ride on the ‘Big One’ rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach!”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said: “I’m delighted that Rosalyn is coming to join the Community of St Anselm as Prior. Not only does she bring a wealth of pastoral and teaching experience, she embodies many of the central themes of our community life, which are focused on rooting young people in Jesus.”

Speaking today about the appointment, the Diocesan Bishop for The Church of England in Lancashire, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, said: “I am delighted for Rosalyn. As the Archbishop says, she will fulfil this new role particularly well and brings important skills to the work of Prior of St Anselm.

“We will miss her ministry in our Diocese and thank her for her work here. We will be praying for Rosalyn and her husband Kenneth as they embark on this new challenge.”

  • Earlier this year, Dr Murphy led the Ordinands' retreat for our Diocese at Whalley Abbey. You can watch a video featuring her and some of the ordinands on the Diocesan YouTube channel.
  • Applications for Community of St Anselm membership in 2018/19 are now open. Apply online at