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/ 6 March 2012

New Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral announced

Downing Street has today announced that the new Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral will be the Very Reverend Dr David Ison, currently Dean of Bradford. Dr Ison will take up the position following his installation at St Paul’s Cathedral on 25 May 2012. He succeeds Graeme Knowles as Dean, following his resignation on 31 October 2011.

The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, welcomed the appointment, saying:

"Rarely before has St Paul’s role at the centre of both the Church in London, and at the heart of this great, world city, been more keenly felt than now, in the wake of the Occupy protest. With that dual responsibility comes an ongoing need and opportunity for the Cathedral to provide an important and relevant outlet for prayer, reflection and debate, accessible to all Londoners and to those from around the globe, who flock to this international heritage site.

"David brings with him the ideal credentials to take on the challenge and his experience of cathedral life in an urban centre will prove invaluable. His additional skills and knowledge of clergy training will be of significant wider benefit to the Diocese as a whole. Together with the rest of the Diocese’s Senior Staff, I look forward to working closely with David and the Chapter in supporting the mission of St Paul’s in today’s London.

"I also want to thank again David’s predecessor as Dean, Graeme Knowles, who we were very sorry to see go. Graeme accomplished a great deal in his time at the Cathedral, which should not be overshadowed by the events that led to his departure. He will be missed and I wish him well in his next role."

David Ison said:

"St Paul’s position in London life, and within the Church, is unique. Its status has been brought even more sharply into focus following the events of the past few months, with the appearance of the Occupy camp. The protestors may now have moved on but a number of the issues they brought to the fore cannot be ignored and the Cathedral has an important part to play in ensuring they are amplified and addressed.

"In my role as Dean, I can already see there will be much to do in partnership with colleagues in the Diocese of London, in other Christian churches, other dioceses and in different faith traditions, with partners in civic and business life, in private, public and voluntary sectors, with rich and poor, alternative and establishment, and with the organised and marginalised alike. The Cathedral is crucially located at the heart of an interconnected London. I especially look forward to getting to know the staff and community of St Paul’s, and exploring with them the particular ways in which the Cathedral can serve the whole of the capital."

The Dean of St Paul’s is a crown appointment but the new procedures for appointing deans were used on this occasion. The five-person appointments panel, which was unanimous in its decision, included a chairman appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a cathedral dean, the Bishop of London and representatives elected by the Diocesan Bishop’s Council and the College of Canons.

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison (aged 57) was born and brought up in Brentwood, Essex and has been Dean of Bradford since 2005. He served his title at St Nicholas and St Luke Deptford, South London, from 1979 to 1985, while also writing a PhD in church history at King’s College, London to develop skills to work in training people for ministry. From 1985 to 1988 he was Lecturer at the Church Army Training College in Blackheath and took up roles in the Diocese of Coventry, then at Exeter Cathedral, before moving to Bradford.

David is married to Hilary, who is also an ordained priest and works in London for the Church of England’s Ministry Division. They have two married daughters and two sons, and became grandparents two years ago. David’s interests include interfaith relations, DIY and scuba diving – and he drives a kit-car he made himself.


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