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The Dean of Leicester is set to leave his role in the city, in order to take up the position of Dean of Canterbury – an appointment approved by Her Late Majesty the Queen ahead of her death.

The Very Revd Dr David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, is set to take up his new role as Dean of Canterbury on December 17, it has been announced today (October 11).

Dean David, who is also the Chair of the College of Deans of the Church of England, will lead his last Leicester Cathedral service as Dean of Leicester at St Martins House, at 10.30am on Sunday, November 27.

He has been in the role since 2013.

Picture: The Very Revd David Monteith

A Farewell Evensong Service will be held at St Mary de Castro Church in Leicester at 7pm on Sunday, November 27.

Further details of all these services will be publicised nearer the time.

Commenting on his new appointment, Dean David said: “I am overjoyed and humbled to be entrusted with this opportunity for learning and service. Canterbury Cathedral has played a vital part in our Christian story in England but it is also much loved by so many communities across the Anglican Communion. So, I already can see there is much to steward and much to imagine anew as our context reshapes. I have been a priest for many years but I also bring my experience of growing up in the Church of Ireland during the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’.

“I’m looking forward to working with Archbishop Justin, Bishop Rose, the Cathedral Chapter and her communities to ensure our worship inspires, our prayer undergirds, our outreach transforms us and others, and our witness reveals more of God’s expansive Kingdom of love, mercy and peace,” he added. “I hope hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ and profound openness to the entire wider community will mark all we offer especially as we face this challenging time of rising costs and human hardship.”

David shares his life in a Civil Partnership with David Hamilton, a counselling therapist working in palliative and bereavement care. He said he was looking forward to moving to the area with him.

“My partner, David, and I have had a place in Whitstable for over 20 years and so we already know Kent well,” he revealed. “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.”

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said he was “delighted” by David’s appointment as Dean of Canterbury.

“He has been 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 added.

Leicester Cathedral’s Canon Missioner and Sub-Dean, the Revd Canon Karen Rooms, has been announced as Acting Dean of Leicester for the interim period before a new appointment is made.

She will lead the Cathedral community through the current period of change whilst the building remains closed for the ongoing Leicester Cathedral Revealed work into autumn 2023.

Picture: Karen Rooms

“I am delighted be taking on this role with such a great Cathedral team. It’s already a time of transition for us as we journey through the Leicester Cathedral Revealed project, so we are well-placed to continue to be resilient and adjust to change,” she said.

“It’s exciting to be able to take forward the significant legacy of welcome, worship and witness that Dean David has given us. We wish him every success in his new role as we continue to build for the future here at the heart of Leicester and Leicestershire.”

The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said that Dean David has had a distinguished ministry and would be greatly missed but went with ‘our love and prayers.’ 

“David has exercised a long and distinguished ministry in Leicester. Most notably he oversaw the re-interment of King Richard III which transformed a small cathedral into a major tourist destination,” he said.

“He has played an active role in interfaith work in the city and chaired a Rural Commission which helped us re-examine the way we support rural churches and communities. He will be greatly missed by the diocese, but he goes with our love and prayers.”