Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean

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Remuneration is in accordance with the Archbishops’ Council scale for Residentiary Canons.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, in close consultation with the Dean of Portsmouth and members of Portsmouth Cathedral Chapter, wishes to appoint a Canon Chancellor who will also be the Cathedral’s first Vice Dean. This key role in the Cathedral’s mission and ministry comes at an exciting time, with a new Dean and the opportunity to participate in developing a renewed strategy and vision.

We are seeking a prayerful, collaborative and imaginative priest who will have particular responsibility for the Cathedral’s work in the areas of learning (including wide-ranging work with schools), volunteers, community engagement, artistic installations and exhibitions, as well as playing a full part in the liturgical, evangelistic and pastoral life of the Cathedral.

Thank you for your interest in the position of Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean at Portsmouth Cathedral. This is an exciting time for the Cathedral, with a new Dean in post and the opportunity to develop a shared strategy and vision, keeping in mind that we will be celebrating our centenary in 2027.

Underlining our commitment continually to grow in service to our diocese, city and beyond while ensuring long term sustainability, and following the appointment of the previous Chancellor to the post of Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, we are for the first time seeking a Canon Chancellor who will also be Vice Dean, and so has the capacity to represent the Cathedral, chair meetings and make decisions in the Dean’s absence. We are seeking a prayerful, collaborative and imaginative priest who will relish the particular opportunities that Cathedral ministry represents.

As is stated in relation to the ‘Person Specification’ on page 5, we want to encourage a range of candidates to apply, including younger candidates, and therefore when shortlisting will take into account potential and capacity, as well as substantial experience, in relation to the areas identified there.

Our current development plan speaks of ‘Encountering God through transformative worship, challenging discipleship, generous hospitality and prayerful engagement.’ Sustained by the regular pattern of daily prayer that is our heartbeat, we are committed to creating sacred space at the heart of the diocese in which worship is offered and the holiness of God is encountered in an open and inclusive way; common ground where issues shared by the whole of humanity can be explored in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Inspired by that Gospel, we are working to build a welcoming, inclusive and engaging environment which, through the delivery of a diverse and inspiring programme of worship, events, educational activities and community engagement, fulfils and spiritually enriches all who experience our Cathedral.

This, then, is a special opportunity not only to be part of the community that is Portsmouth Cathedral but also to contribute to shaping and leading its future growth and success.

I hope this, the further information contained below, and our website (,uk) will encourage you to apply for this exciting and significant post. If it does, or you would like to ask any questions about the role in advance of a formal application, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

The Very Revd Dr Anthony Cane

Dean of Portsmouth

The Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean is an appointment made by the Bishop, in close consultation with the Dean of Portsmouth and the other members of Chapter. The successful candidate will report to the Dean, and is responsible to the Chapter.

The purpose of the role is to play a full part in Chapter’s responsibility for the governance and strategy of the Cathedral, exercising particular executive responsibility for learning and discipleship, volunteers, community engagement, safeguarding, artistic installations and exhibitions, as well as playing a full part in the liturgical and pastoral life of the Cathedral.

Key responsibilities are:*

Learning and teaching

  • To lead the Cathedral’s work in the area of learning, teaching and theological reflection
  • To lead the work of the Education department, line managing the Education Officer, and developing relationships with schools
  • To encourage learning opportunities relevant to the diocese, the Cathedral’s parish, and to the wider community

The Cathedral Community

  • To lead in enabling congregational discipleship and growth (including numerical growth)
  • To oversee and develop the Cathedral’s community of volunteers, including issues of policy and recruitment
  • To work with the Precentor, who leads on pastoral care, in ensuring and enabling excellence in this area
  • Sharing in the duties of residence, and of preaching and the leadership of
    Cathedral services
  • To be Chapter’s safeguarding lead, working with our safeguarding team
  • As Vice Dean, representing the Cathedral, chairing meetings, etc

The Wider Community

  • To be the Chapter’s lead in relationships with Ecumenical Partners, the Deanery Synod and meetings with Deanery clergy.
  • To oversee and develop the role of the arts in supporting the mission of the Cathedral
  • To work with the Dean and others in engaging with local bodies and organisations in a way that encourages partnership working and mutual learning

* Further areas of work may emerge as the Cathedral develops a new shared strategy and vision.

The successful candidate will be a priest in the Church of England or the Anglican Communion, who has been in priests’ orders for at least six years.

In order to be considered for the role of Canon and Chancellor and Vice Dean, you will also be able to demonstrate:

  • Significant leadership and pastoral experience in the Church, whether in a parish, diocese, cathedral or in some other capacity
  • Enthusiasm for the potential for Cathedrals in mission and evangelism, a valuing of the ethos of Cathedral liturgy and music, and a commitment to corporate prayer in the daily offices
  • The ability to work with, influence, inspire, listen and engage with others in a collegial and team-orientated way
  • Experience of working at board/trustee level, or of working collaboratively with a Board of Trustees and/or Governing Body
  • Experience of encouraging Christian learning, spiritual growth and discipleship; of working with schools, and an understanding of learning and teaching across the age range
  • Knowledge and understanding of contemporary theology and public engagement
  • Understanding of the arts, and the potential role of art and artistic installations in enhancing the mission of the Cathedral
  • Experience of developing and implementing strategic plans
  • Understanding of financial management
  • Have a good working knowledge of digital technology and ICT

We want to encourage a range of candidates to apply, including younger candidates, and therefore when shortlisting will take into account potential and capacity, as well as substantial experience, in relation to the areas identified above.

For more information about this application process, please use this link

Background Information

For centuries Portsmouth Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Sea, has watched, listened and helped the people of Portsmouth navigate the passage of time with faith and confidence in God.

It has witnessed war and peace, famous marriages, suffered bomb damage, been rebuilt and remains a building of greatness and simple enduring beauty. More than this it is a vibrant and lively community which has a positive impact on the lives of people in its own parish, the City and Diocese of Portsmouth. The Cathedral is a distinctively spiritual and prayerful space, into which everyone is welcome to come; a Christian community committed to promoting social justice, equality and compassion.

Dating back to 1180 the original chapel dedicated to Thomas of Canterbury became a parish church in the 14th century and a cathedral in the 20th century. The Cathedral, as Mother Church, is at the heart of the life of the Diocese of Portsmouth which covers south-east Hampshire, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. In addition to the many diocesan services and events which are held throughout the year, the Cathedral is used for special services for the City, charities, the Royal Navy and local schools. Educational workshops and visits are offered through an evolving outreach programme. The Cathedral and its community facilities are used by many local and regional organisations for concerts, art exhibitions and workshops.


The worship of God at Portsmouth Cathedral both offers prayer on behalf of the whole community of Portsmouth, and sustains and extends the faith and witness of our different congregations. In addition to a range of Sunday services, we offer Morning Prayer and Holy Communion daily while our regular choral services expose visitors to beautiful and inspiring music. We seek to model liturgical excellence in the pattern of the Church of England.

Cathedral Choirs

The Cathedral is home to three acclaimed choirs: the Cathedral Choir of men and boys; Cantate mixed youth choir and the Cathedral Consort of mixed adults. The Choirs broadcast regularly on BBC and sing in support of Cathedral Sing, an outreach programme offered by the Music and Education Departments to local schools.


In 2018 our education team engaged with over 6,000 primary school children either through visits, Cathedral Sing or collective worship in schools. In recent years the Diocesan Leavers Services are have been expanded to include workshops and have become an example of good practice.


Exhibitions are held throughout the year from major sales of work by local artists groups to smaller events with schools and individual artists. Commissions and art residencies are offered linked to our Annual Themes and last year included ‘The Hermitage’ an art residency with Arts Council funding.

Buildings and Properties

The Cathedral Offices, Music Centre and community facilities are located in Cathedral House, St Thomas’s Street. The Cathedral owns a number of properties in Old Portsmouth which are used as housing for Cathedral clergy and staff or rented commercially.

Staff and Volunteers

There are ten full-time and ten part-time paid staff posts, including clergy but excluding members of the Cathedral Choir. The Ministry Team comprises the Dean, four Residentiary Canons (two ‘Commissioners Canons’ who are full-time at the Cathedral, and two who hold diocesan roles as well as contributing to the life of the Cathedral), a Reader and currently a Cathedral Curate shared with Harbour Church.

The Cathedral is supported by 200 volunteers who undertake a wide variety of roles including helping with educational workshops, administration and gardening. The Cathedral Shop is also staffed by volunteers and the Cathedral Guides are on duty in the Cathedral to offer a warm and informative welcome to visitors.


The governance of Portsmouth Cathedral is regulated by Statute, as required by the Cathedrals Measure 1999. The corporate body of Portsmouth Cathedral is the Chapter, the College of Canons and the Cathedral Council.

Chapter oversees the ministry and mission of the Cathedral. It meets at least nine times a year and comprises the Dean, four residentiary canons and six lay persons, two of whom were elected for the first time in April following a change to the Constitution and Statutes.