Dean of Bristol

This job has now expired
£36930 - £36930

Bristol Cathedral stands in the civic heart of a city that has frequently been voted the best place to live in the UK. The West of England region, with Bristol at its centre, has long been the powerhouse of the South West economy. The city is home to a diverse community of nearly half a million people. The Diocese of Bristol serves a part of England which is increasing in population and diversity, and which for centuries has been known for its economic adventurousness, its engineering ingenuity and its international reach.

The next Dean will arrive in the Diocese at a time of significant opportunity. S/he will lead the cathedral community in fostering a vision to see the cathedral play a key role at the heart of the city, and reach and grow new, diverse congregations. The Dean will develop the role of the Cathedral as the seat of the Bishop’s ministry and the centre of worship and mission for the Diocese. As a member of the Bishop’s staff, the Dean will share in the leadership of the Diocese and be involved in developing the new Diocesan strategic plan.

Challenges of the role
These will include:

  • Leading the Cathedral Community in fostering a strategic vision for Bristol Cathedral to play a key role at the heart of the life of the City;
  • Developing the role of the Cathedral as the seat of the Bishop’s ministry by contributing to mission, evangelism and discipleship across the whole diocese;
  • Ensuring the Cathedral has the capacity and energy to resource its vision; facilitating collegial working and maximising the gifts and skills of members of Chapter, staff and volunteers; and
  • Enabling the Cathedral to reach and grow diverse congregations by developing alternative, accessible expressions of worship, whilst being sensitive to its choral and sacramental tradition.

The main responsibilities for all Deans are:

  • As Dean and senior priest in the Diocese, to share with the Bishop and other senior colleagues in the oversight of the Church’s mission, and to be a member of the Bishop’s Council, the Bishop’s Staff Team and the Diocesan Synod;
  • As head of the Cathedral foundation and its principal dignitary after the Bishop, to preside over the Cathedral Chapter, with it to direct the life and work of the Cathedral, and to take emergency decisions on behalf of the Chapter when circumstances require;
  • To represent the Church in public life across the diocese, to grow partnerships with faith and secular institutions, and to contribute to their intellectual, social and theological capital;
  • To preside over the College of Canons, working with the Cathedral Council and other statutory bodies, and in collaboration with the Chapter to ensure sound governance across the Cathedral;
  • To exercise leadership in the Cathedral’s liturgy, preaching and pastoral care, to develop healthy team working, and to be personally committed to its pattern of daily prayer;
  • To lead the mission and outreach of the Cathedral, including the presentation and interpretation of its heritage;
  • With the Chapter, to have oversight of the Cathedral’s development and to lead in securing funds for its long-term future;
  • To ensure that the Cathedral’s operations are properly managed, including staff, finance, compliance and the care of the fabric;
  • To ensure that the constitution and statutes are faithfully observed; and
  • To exercise responsibility for safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, the provision of pastoral care of survivors, and creating a culture in which all will flourish, and which is coherent with the safeguarding policies of the Church of England.

The ideal candidate will be:

Spiritual Life

  • Committed to corporate daily prayer with a worshipping community;
  • Nourished by the Cathedral’s choral and sacramental tradition;
  • Shows a passion for communicating the Christian faith and making Jesus known;


  • Brings a theological depth that is genuinely inclusive, with the ability to teach and communicate effectively with a wide range of people;


  • Is a skilled leader, experienced in galvanising others around a common vision;
  • Is capable of transformational change, quickly identifying what needs to be done and making difficult decisions when necessary;

Working with Others

  • Is a personable, authentic and engaging colleague who values working collegially;

Formation of Others

  • Invests time in the Cathedral community to maximise their gifts and talents and provide support, encouragement and challenge as they grow in their discipleship and vocation and as they contribute to the Cathedral’s vision;

Vision for mission and delivery

  • Has experience of developing and embedding creative and ambitious visions for mission, ministry and evangelism that have led to growth in faith and discipleship;


  • Understands the imperative for excellent safeguarding practice and is committed to ensuring this is embedded in all aspects of Cathedral life;

Engagement in community life and public issues

  • Is skilled in building relationships with civic and community leaders, schools, universities and with the media that contribute to the flourishing of communities, particularly through the Dean’s governance role in the Bristol Cathedral Schools Trust;
  • Has a passion for inclusion and social justice within the Church and wider community;

Management of resources and structures

  • Has good financial acumen and an understanding of the challenges of managing a cathedral’s estate and finances, and the structures necessary to facilitate good governance (in light of the new Cathedrals Measure);

The Diocese of Bristol encompasses South Gloucestershire, North Wiltshire and Swindon as well as the City of Bristol. There are 30,000 people worshipping regularly in 203 churches. Around 15,000 children and young people attend our 72 church schools, while chaplains serve in institutions across our region. As the seat of the Bishop’s ministry and the centre of worship and mission, the Cathedral has a role in supporting and resourcing the mission, evangelism and discipleship across the Diocese. For more information about the ministry of the cathedral is available on the Bristol Cathedral website