Dear Fellow Parishioners,
It is with abundant joy and gratitude that we announce the call of the Reverend Barkley Thompson to be the Rector and Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.
Since 2007, Barkley has served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Roanoke, Virginia. St. John’s is the largest parish in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia and serves as the de facto cathedral in a diocese that has no formal cathedral.
Barkley will begin his ministry at our Cathedral on February 7, 2013, and will be joined by his wife, Jill, and their two children, Griffin (age 12) and Eliza (age 8), when the school year is completed in June.
In our parish survey and town hall meetings, you overwhelmingly indicated that the most important role of our new Dean is that of a compelling preacher and teacher of the Gospel. The Search Committee, by the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has been led to a priest who, we are confident, has a true vocational calling to be and to do just that. He was the unanimous choice of the Search Committee and his call was issued on the unanimous vote of the Vestry.
In addition to his commitment to the Gospel, Barkley has a background and interests that also reflect the Cathedral’s Guiding Principles as set forth in the Parish Profile. With regard to “Tradition,” it is intriguing to know that, although he grew up in Arkansas, Barkley has deep Texas and Christ Church roots. His family traces to at least three of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred” and he is a direct descendant of Col. John H. Moore, who commanded the Texians at Gonzales on October 2, 1835. In the early 20th century, his family’s spiritual home was Christ Church in Houston, Texas (and he has the 1914 May Fete photo to prove it!).
Barkley graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. Since graduation he has served parishes in both Memphis (Collierville) and Roanoke. Attendance and stewardship have flourished during his ministry in both places.
Barkley has a deep and abiding appreciation for traditional Episcopalian liturgy and music which should make him feel right at home at the Cathedral. He also shares with us a love of and commitment to urban ministry. And like the Cathedral, his current parish is a large and diverse community with a shared identity as a single church family. He and Jill and their children find joy in participating fully in the community life of the parish.
Finally, Barkley is active in and attuned to the Episcopal Church at large. He participates in a number of Episcopal organizations in his current diocese and beyond. Bishop Doyle has expressed his great enthusiasm for this call. He believes that Barkley will be a tremendous asset to the Diocese of Texas. The Bishop and the new Dean look forward to working with each other in the coming years.
Barkley’s first day to preach and celebrate at Christ Church Cathedral will be Sunday, February 24. A reception for him will take place in Reynolds Hall at the 10 a.m. hour. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to demonstrate a grand Texas welcome and to meet our remarkable new dean!
Your prayers and your friendship have supported us during the months of searching for the one who will lead the Cathedral into the next phase of our life together. We are sure that your prayers and your friendship will support Barkley, Jill, Griffin and Eliza as they now become part of the family that is Christ Church Cathedral.
Grace and Peace,
Chair, Search Committee
Risher Randall, Jr.