The Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo has been appointed by His Majesty the King as Residentiary Canon and Steward of St Paul’s Cathedral.

In her new role, Catherine will be responsible for the stewardship of people and resources at the Cathedral. As Canon Steward, she will be a member of the Cathedral’s Chapter, the main governing body of the Cathedral, supporting St Paul’s mission to inspire and encourage others with the Gospel of Christ.

Welcoming Catherine to the Diocese of London, The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, commented:

“Catherine’s commitment to serving Christ and her local community in the Diocese of Bristol and beyond makes her a perfect fit for Canon Steward at the Cathedral. She will play a vital role for St Paul’s, advancing the Cathedral’s mission and enhancing the lives of individuals within and outside of the Cathedral. I look forward to seeing her flourish in this new role and the valuable contribution she makes in the years ahead.”

Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Andrew Tremlett, added:

“It is a joy to welcome The Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo as a Residentiary Canon of St Paul’s. With a breadth of experience across the Church of England as a vicar, advisor and academic, I cannot think of a better person to take on the role of Canon Steward. I am confident Catherine’s insightful mind, wisdom and humanity will resonate with colleagues, congregations and the wider community.”

Catherine joins the Cathedral from the Diocese of Bristol where she was the Bishop’s Advisor on Racial Justice and Vicar of All Saints and St Barnabas, Swindon. In her role, Catherine worked closely with the Bishop of Bristol to address the Church’s past relationship with the slave trade, challenge racism within the Church, and support and develop Black and minority ethnic clergy.

Having grown up in the Middle East, Catherine studied in the US and UK before working as an English teacher for almost a decade. She has published numerous works of fiction and academic works, in which she explores the experiences of Black African and Black British women and their relationship with the Church and society.

The Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo commented:

“Following a blessed ministry at St Barnabas and All Saints Church (Swindon) and in the wider Diocese of Bristol, I am absolutely delighted at the privilege of joining in what God is doing at St Paul’s Cathedral at this exciting juncture of its story.

“As Canon Steward, I look forward to serving the communities of St Paul’s Cathedral, the Diocese of London, and the City of London, as I live out the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. My prayer is that my ministry at St Paul’s Cathedral would flow out of the fruits of God’s spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control (Galatians 5.22-23) as I journey with many over the years ahead.” 

Catherine’s installation will take place at Evensong on Sunday 8 September 2024. The current Residentiary Canon and Steward, Revd Dr Neil Evans, will be retiring in the summer.