HAVING lost their last dean to the episcopate, it was a sharp move by York Minster to respond by recruiting a bishop to be its next dean.
On Monday, Downing Street announced that the next Dean of York is to be the Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Revd Jonathan Frost. He succeeds the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, who was consecrated Bishop of Bristol earlier this autumn.
Bishop Frost has been at Southampton, in the diocese of Winchester, since 2010. Before then, he was a residentiary canon of Guildford Cathedral and co-ordinating chaplain at the University of Surrey. Previously, he had been Rector of Ash, also in Guildford diocese. He trained at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, and served his title in West Bridgford, near Nottingham.
It is an unusual move for a bishop to make. Bishop Frost said on Monday that it had taken a nudge from a friend, a chat with a spiritual director, and a walk along the South West Coast Path to convince him to put his hat in the ring. “I have a strong belief in a sense of calling, and I had a growing sense of calling about this that I felt I needed to test.”
Asked what he thought might be the chief differences between the two posts, Bishop Frost expected there to be more focus, and less travel. In particular, though, he most looked forward to being part of a praying community. The life of a suffragan bishop was necessarily peripatetic, he said, and, although he never felt like a visitor, and valued being welcomed and made part of the places he travelled to, it was, nevertheless, a lack not to have a place where you could put down roots.
He had missed, he said, that sense of belonging, and “those little conversations you have as you walk back from evensong or morning prayer”.
His installation is due to take place on Saturday 2 February.