THE next Dean of Westminster will be the Dean of Bristol, the Very Revd Dr David Hoyle, it was announced on Wednesday.
Dr Hoyle, who is 61 and chairs the College of Deans in the Church of England, succeeds the Very Revd John Hall, who retires on 1 November.
Before moving to Bristol in 2010, Dr Hoyle was a Canon Residentiary of Gloucester Cathedral. He studied history and theology at Cambridge, and was trained for the priesthood at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. He served his title at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Cambridge.
He was then appointed Chaplain (later Dean of Chapel) and Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he also served as Director of Studies in Theology. He was awarded a Ph.D. in church history in 1991. His thesis was published as Reformation and Religious Identity in Cambridge (Books, 13 June 2008). Other books include The Pattern of Our Calling: Ministry yesterday, today and tomorrow (Books, 3 February 2017).
Among the challenges that Dr Hoyle faced as Dean of Bristol were an Occupy protest (Comment, 10 February 2012), and the debate about the the legacy of transatlantic slavery in the city (News, 1 June 2018). The move to the Abbey will be a return to London: between 1995 and 2002, he was Vicar of Christ Church, Southgate.
Dr Hoyle is a regular contributor to the Church Times (Features, 30 June 2017).
He said on Wednesday: “Westminster Abbey is a wonderful place. It reminds us of our past, speaks of our present identity as a nation and a monarchy, and sets before us the kingdom we can be under God.”
He continued: “Succeeding him [Dean Hall], it will be important to sustain the Abbey as a place of pilgrimage and outstanding worship. I also look forward to working with some very talented colleagues ensuring that the Abbey will always bear witness to the truth that, amongst all our divisions, we can still have a shared hope.”
Dean Hall said: “The stage of the life of the Abbey over which he [the Dean of Bristol] will preside will be one of very considerable demand and interest. The past years have seen considerable expansion and development in the particular role of the Abbey.
“We have described the Abbey’s mission as ‘faith at the heart of the nation’ but the Abbey’s contacts have reached out through the Commonwealth to very many parts of the world. It has been for me an immense pleasure and privilege presiding over the worship and mission of the Abbey. I wish Dr Hoyle every joy and success in his leadership of the Abbey community.”
The new Dean will be installed on 16 November.