Following the retirement of the Dean Emeritus of Worcester, the Very Revd Peter Atkinson last month, the Vice-Dean, the Revd Canon Dr Stephen Edwards has been appointed as Interim Dean by the Bishop of Worcester, the Right Revd Dr John Inge.
Canon Edwards was installed as a Residentiary Canon at Worcester Cathedral in September 2019. He said: “I am extremely honoured to have been appointed Interim Dean. Just over four years ago the Cathedral Community welcomed me as I was installed as a Residentiary Canon and I often reflect on how these past years have seen a great deal of change.
“One of those changes which I certainly didn’t foresee was my appointment as Interim Dean by the Bishop of Worcester. I started in this new position at the end of August and feel honoured to be taking this role for the months ahead.
“The retirement of a number of deans across the Church of England means that I am one of a significant number of Interim Deans – some are internal appointments like mine, others are external. The past four years have given me a good foundation for all that lies ahead but most of all I want to record my personal gratitude to Peter and to the Cathedral Community for their support and indeed continuing welcome.
“I am excited to serve the Cathedral, City and County over the next 12 or so months. Worcester Cathedral is one of England’s finest churches and is at the heart of a vibrant city and region. It is a privilege to be part of community of prayer, learning, and welcome and I look forward to the coming months working with colleagues, volunteers, congregations, and the wider community in ensuring the Cathedral’s ministry continues to be a beacon of hope and place of welcome to all.”
Stephen was ordained in 1996, serving first in the Church in Wales. He was a priest in the Diocese of Manchester from 2002 until 2019, initially Rector of the inner-city parish of St Agnes’ Longsight before moving in 2012 to be Team Rector of Wythenshawe.
He was also Area Dean of Withington and the Bishop of Manchester’s advisor for liturgy and worship as well as the co-ordinator of the Manchester Estate Ministry Network. His interests include architecture, ales and a love of dogs!
Bishop John said: “Stephen is an exceptionally able priest who has gained the respect and affection of all at the Cathedral and many beyond it during his relatively short time with us. I am grateful that we shall be blessed by his ministry as Interim Dean during the vacancy and pray for God’s blessing upon him in his new role.”
It is Church of England procedure to appoint an Interim Dean to serve in the role until a new permanent Dean is installed. The process of appointing a new Dean can only begin once the former Dean has vacated the Deanery.
The appointment of a new Dean of Worcester is made by The Crown.