Dean of Chichester announces he is Stepping Down

20th December 2022

The Dean of Chichester is the latest to announce he is stepping down from the role early next year to serve parishes in Dorset.

The news follows the announcement last month by the Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, who too will leave cathedral ministry for parish ministry in early 2023.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, and the Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn will both take retirement next year.

The Dean of Chichester, the Very Reverend Stephen Waine, is to become the vicar of the benefice of Piddle Valley, Hilton and Ansty, Cheselbourne and Melcombe Horsey, in the Diocese of Salisbury.

Serving in Sussex for eight years, Stephen was appointed as the Dean of Chichester in 2015 but before that he served as Archdeacon of Dorset.

He said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as Dean of Chichester. The Cathedral is the praying heart of the Diocese. In leading and developing the Cathedral’s life and witness over the past eight years I have been sustained by the daily offering of worship and music which is vital to the ministry of every Cathedral. I have been fortunate to have the support of so many talented staff who have contributed their expertise and insight as we have invited people to ‘come and see’ the mystery at the heart of the gospel.”

The Bishop of Chichester, The Right Reverend Dr Martin Warner, said:

“In his time as Dean, Stephen has shown a deep love and understanding of the English cathedral tradition which Chichester exemplifies so outstandingly.

He has seen the Cathedral through challenging and turbulent times. Most recently he led the Cathedral through the Covid pandemic, staying open for worship when others closed, and restoring other activities at a measured pace. The major achievement of making the roof sound is shortly to be accomplished (and has been funded).

“Stephen has responded to a call to parochial ministry, the core of the Church of England’s mission, to which he now returns after almost 13 years as Archdeacon and then Dean.”

The Dean will take his final service in the Cathedral on Sunday 22nd January 2023, and after a period of study leave, he will start his new role at the beginning of April.

Retired Anglican bishop, and former Dean of St Paul’s, the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles, will be Acting Dean until Easter 2023.

The Reverend Canon Simon Holland, Vicar of Chichester Saint Paul and Westhampnett Saint Peter since 2012, will take up the post of Interim Dean.

After nearly nine years as Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, has announced that he is moving to be Parish Priest of St Thomas the Apostle, New Groombridge in the Diocese of Chichester.

Commenting on his announcement, Nicholas said:

“It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as Dean of Chelmsford over the last nine years. The task I was given in 2014 was to stretch a parish church to become a Cathedral for the whole Diocese. 

“It was clear from the beginning that this was a process of culture change that would take decades rather than years, and my role was to start that journey. It has been great to see the Cathedral rise to the challenge, and personally I’ve loved leading worship and preaching in churches and communities across the Diocese and across church traditions. 

“Playing a part in building links and forming relationships in the Diocese, and just as significantly in the city and the region, has been – and continues to be – at the heart of the work of the Cathedral.”

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani paid tribute to Nicholas saying:

“I’m hugely grateful to Nicholas for his contribution to the life of Chelmsford Cathedral and our Diocese over the past nine years. His achievements have been considerable. Chelmsford Cathedral has become a more accessible and welcoming place and he has shown great commitment towards making it a cathedral for the whole diocese. This was particularly important during the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I also want to thank him for the important work he has done in wider civic and community life as Dean of the Cathedral. I wish him and Christine every blessing in this next phase of their ministry.”

Nicholas, and his wife Christine, will be moving in the early spring. There will be a service at Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday, 5 February at 3.30 pm, to give thanks for his ministry and to say farewell.

The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, has announced that he is to retire in 2023.

Adrian, who became Dean in 2005, will step down from the role on 31 March. There will be a farewell service for him on the afternoon of 19 February, which will be his final Sunday at the cathedral.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave has appointed The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane, currently a Residentiary Canon at the cathedral, as Acting Dean of Lichfield from 1 April while the appointment process for a new Dean is followed.

Bishop Michael said:

“Adrian has served the cathedral, the wider community of Lichfield and our diocese with great commitment, faith and passion for the past 17 years and we will be sad to see him leave but happy for him in his well-earned retirement. 

“We look forward to celebrating Adrian’s time in Lichfield on 19 February, and more details will be made available about this in the new year.

“I am very thankful to Bishop Jan for agreeing to be Acting Dean while the process to find Adrian’s successor gets underway.”

The Dean of Southwark, The Very Revd Andrew Nunn, has announced his intention to retire on 4 July 2023 following the 40th anniversary of his ordination as Deacon

In his letter to the Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, the Dean said, “I wanted to give you a year’s notice of this in order to allow you to begin the process of identifying and appointing my successor and for the new Cathedral Chapter to do the work it will need to do in order to be in a position to welcome a new Dean.

“It has been the most enormous privilege to serve the people of God and lead the worship of Almighty God for all these years but especially from this position.”

He continued, “There is a great deal I can do in a year.  Be assured, I won’t coast towards retirement.  It will be heart-breaking leaving but the time is right and I am sure you will find somebody wonderful to serve this wonderful community.”

Bishop Christopher said,

“The Dean of Southwark is much loved. He has brought his considerable gifts to the service of the Cathedral and wider Church with priestly devotion, humour, and a passion for generous and including orthodoxy. As Dean he has built a hospitable and engaged community of prayer at the Cathedral, and as senior priest of the Diocese he has engaged with different civic bodies in a way that has earned their respect and ensured that the Church of England is seen as a credible partner in different walks of life. 

“Andrew will be greatly missed by colleagues in the Cathedral, the Diocese of Southwark and on General Synod. I have accepted his notice to retire with a sad heart, but Andrew is assured of my prayers and thanks for all that he has done and will continue to do over the coming year until his retirement.”

Andrew became Acting Dean following the death of The Very Revd Colin Slee, in November 2010 and was installed as Dean on the Feast of St Agnes, 21 January 2012.  He came to the Cathedral in September 1999 as Sub Dean and Precentor and so will have served the Cathedral for 24 years.