The Church of England's chief education officer, Canon John Hall pictured, left), is to be the next Dean of Westminster, it waannounced by 10 Downing Street on Tuesday.
He succeeds Dr Wesley Carr, who retired in February, and is expected to movfrom Church House to Westminster Abbey in early December. He will brinextensive experience in parish work, church administration, and co-operatiowith government ministers and civil servants.
Canon Hall said his appointment was an honour and a challenge. "With itmany resonances for Church and state, for monarch and people, and as a place opilgrimage and prayer, Westminster Abbey has a unique ministry, which I looforward to with relish. I shall particularly enjoy being part of a community owelcome and of daily worship."
His move has been welcomed at the Abbey. Canon Robert Wright, the Sub-Deansaid this week: "Canon Hall is a very gifted priest. We look forwarenthusiastically to his installation."
After reading theology at St Chad's College, Durham, Canon Hall taughreligious education for two years at a Hull comprehensive school, befortraining for the priesthood at Cuddesdon College, Oxford. Ordained deacon i1975 and priest the following year, he served his title at St John the DivineKennington. He was Priest-in-Charge of All Saints', Wimbledon (1978-1984), anVicar of St Peter's, Streatham (1984-1992).
He was a member of the General Synod from 1984 to 1992, and is a paspresident of the Federation of Catholic Priests.
Appointed diocesan Director of Education for Blackburn in 1992, he was alsa Canon Residentiary at Blackburn Cathedral from 1994 to 1998. He was involvein the development of interfaith relationships.
In 1998, Canon Hall returned to London as General Secretary of the NationaSociety for Promoting Religious Education and of the Board of Education. Undehis leadership, Church of England schools gained an unprecedented level ogovernment support.
Canon Hall initiated the review of church schools and colleges under LorDearing, which reported in 2001. Since then, more than 100 new C of E schoolhave opened or will open in the next year. Anglican colleges have also played significant part in the expansion of higher education.
As Dean of Westminster, he will lead a team of four residentiary canons an200 lay employees