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Dean of Leicester to be the next Dean of Canterbury

11 October 2022

Canterbury Cathedral

The Very Revd David Monteith

The Very Revd David Monteith

THE next Dean of Canterbury is to be the Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester since 2013, Downing Street announced on Tuesday.

He succeeds the Very Revd Robert Willis, who retired on the eve of his 75th birthday in May, after more than two decades in post (News, 20 May). Since then, the Very Revd Jane Hedges has been Acting Dean of Canterbury since her retirement as Dean of Norwich.

Dean Monteith, who is 54, was raised in the Church of Ireland during the Troubles. He trained for ordination at St John’s College, Nottingham, and was ordained deacon in 1993 and priest the following year. He held curacies at Kings Heath, Birmingham, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, until 2002, when he became Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity and St Peter, South Wimbledon, for seven years. He served as Area Dean of Merton during that time.

In 2009, he was Team Rector of Merton Priory when he was appointed Canon Chancellor of Leicester Cathedral before his succeeding to the Deanery.

It was during his time as Dean, in 2015, that the remains of King Richard III, which had been discovered beneath a Leicester car park, were solemnly reinterred in the city’s cathedral (News, 27 March 2015). A new tomb was created, and a reordering of the cathedral interior took place.

Dean Monteith, who is in a civil partnership with David Hamilton, a counselling therapist in palliative and bereavement care, said on Tuesday that he was “overjoyed and humbled” by his appointment to Canterbury. “Canterbury Cathedral has played a vital part in our Christian story in England. . . I already can see there is much to steward and much to imagine anew as our context reshapes. . .

“David and I have had a place in Whitstable for over 20 years and so we already know Kent well. We are both looking forward to getting to know further the varied communities of the county as well as getting to the seaside more often.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury described Dean Monteith as “an exceptional Dean of Leicester — and his deep faith and spirituality, creativity, and profound sense of service will be a gift to Canterbury Cathedral and all the communities it serves”.

He continued: “This is a time of hardship, suffering, and anxiety for many in this country and worldwide. . . I am sure that David will build on the extraordinary ministry of Dean Robert and continue to develop this in new ways for our 21st-century world.”

Dean Monteith’s installation as Dean of Canterbury will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday 17 December.

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