We are seeking a Dean to serve in the Diocese of Sheffield and to lead its Cathedral. The new Dean will be energised by the mission potential of this sacred space, attentive to the governance and culture of the institution as well as to the pastoral care of the congregation, generous in spirituality and theology, hospitable and blessed with an entrepreneurial spirit encompassing both finance and the organisation.
The next Dean of Sheffield will face considerable challenges but will also enjoy the rare opportunity of renewing the worship and mission, the confidence and reputation of the Mother Church of our Diocese, its governance and culture. The events of 2020 have created as near to a blank page for the future as our beloved Cathedral has known since its creation in 1914 (with the possible exception of 1945).
The Diocese of Sheffield has embarked upon a radical transformation programme. For at least 30 years, every obvious measure in the Diocese (number of stipendiary clergy, numbers in attendance at worship, parish share/common fund receipts etc) has been in decline. The time has come to address these trends urgently, by doing things differently to mobilise the whole people of God for the whole mission of God, releasing every baptised person to shine as a light for Christ in the world by the power of the Spirit and to the glory of God the Father. The personal engagement of the Dean will be necessary in this process and so will the visible participation of the Cathedral Church.
In the past twelve months, the composition of the Bishop’s Senior Staff Team has changed significantly, through the appointment of a new Bishop of Doncaster, a new Archdeacon of Doncaster and a new Diocesan Secretary. In addition, we have brought into the team our Director of Strategic Programmes and our Director of Human Resources. It is now, already, an exceptionally strong team, but with this appointment comes the opportunity to strengthen it further. In all these recent senior appointments, we have sought people who will relish the responsibilities of their role — people with a strong sense of vocation to this shared task at this time; people of faith and hope and love in God; people who laugh easily and have a zest for life in Christ; people with a sense of adventure, unafraid of failure, joyfully reliant on the grace of the Holy Spirit. We need just such a person in the next Dean of Sheffield and a warm welcome awaits the one who is called to this role.
Opportunities and challenges for the next Dean of Sheffield
The panel has identified the following opportunities and challenges for the next Dean:
The panel is seeking to appoint someone who demonstrates these qualities and characteristics:
Sheffield Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Sheffield and sits at the southern-most point of the Diocese. The Cathedral was first built in the 12th century and is the oldest building in the City in continuous use. The building tells the history of Christianity in Sheffield and of the stories of the people living and worshipping there. Formerly the parish church of Sheffield, it was granted cathedral status in 1914 and is proud that it retains its parish status.
The Diocese of Sheffield has a population of 1.4m and is comprised, not only of former steel-making communities (not least in Sheffield and Rotherham) and former coal-mining communities (not least in the villages around Doncaster), but also is far greener than people imagine, with Peak District communities (west and north of Sheffield) and farming communities (north and east of Doncaster). It boasts some of the finest hospitals in the country and an inspiring Advanced Manufacturing Park, a noble tradition of horse racing (the St Leger) and other centres of sporting excellence. There are prosperous suburbs and sprawling housing estates, areas of multi-cultural vitality and of stark socio-economic deprivation. These are the communities we seek to serve with the Good News of what God has done for the world in the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.