THE next Dean of Truro is to be the current Interim Dean, Canon Simon Robinson, Downing Street announced on Thursday.
He has been Interim Dean since October, when he succeeded the Very Revd Roger Bush, who retired last September.
Canon Robinson, who is 56, was ordained later in life, being priested in 2013, having previously worked as a teacher and headteacher of estate schools in London and Bristol for 24 years. He served his title at St Peter’s, Freshford, with Limpley Stoke and Hinton Charterhouse, in Bath & Wells diocese, and continued his ministry in that diocese, as Vicar of Minehead, from 2015 until his appointment as Interim Dean of Truro last year.
The position and “power-dynamics” of the Dean and Chapter of Truro Cathedral were raised in a recent visitation conducted by the diocesan Bishop, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen (News, 3 February). Bishop Mounstephen found “serious concerns” about the mission and governance of the cathedral, including “discordant leadership”, “underperformance”, and “an unhealthy culture”.
He directed the Chapter to invest in training for staff, clergy, trustees, and senior leadership. He also wrote that the Chapter must adopt a code of conduct and carry out a “courageous evaluation” of the Chapter itself, including “power-dynamics” and the part played by the Dean.
Welcoming the appointment of Canon Robinson, Bishop Mounstephen said: “I know that he has greatly impressed many since his arrival as Interim Dean by his strong faith, evident delight and trust in God, and his great desire that Truro Cathedral should be a place of excellence both in worship and mission, and I’m very pleased indeed that this role is now to be permanent.”
Canon Robinson, who is a member of the Sodality of Mary, Mother of Priests, said that he was “over the moon” and “really truly excited” to continue serving the Cathedral. “I am committed to my belief that Truro Cathedral is here for everyone who lives and works and visits Cornwall. It does not belong to me, it belongs firstly to God and then to everyone, whoever they are and whatever their faith status is.”
He will be installed in the autumn by the Suffragan Bishop of St Germans, the Rt Revd Hugh Nelson.