From The Right Revd James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle
There have been many notable Deans of Carlisle over the last 900 years; including Archibald Tait, who went on to be Bishop of London and then Queen Victoria’s favourite (allegedly) Archbishop of Canterbury. Whoever is appointed to this post will stand in a long and proud succession, so we will be looking for someone with theological and liturgical acumen, a deeply pastoral approach to ministry, and proven strategic leadership ability. Some previous experience of Cathedral life and worship would be desirable, and a collaborative and enabling style of working will be essential .
So, we will be hoping for someone with a wide range of gifts; a winsome combination of humility and gravitas; a keen desire to work with and encourage others; and above all, a strong sense of God’s calling to this wonderful place at this particular time.
In 2022, Carlisle reached the significant milestone of its 900th anniversary. Founded in 1122 by Henry I as an Augustinian priory, it became the cathedral church of the newly created Diocese of Carlisle eleven years after that. Through these 900 years the Cathedral has served the City and County – as a house of worship, a beacon of hope and as a place of rest within the restless history of life on the Border. The Cathedral has welcomed and given shelter to visitors, travellers and pilgrims – from the grandest monarch to the humblest wayfarer. A daily pattern of prayer has undergirded everything.
Opportunities of the role will include:
•Building on the legacy of a recently celebrated 900-year foundation, recognising and celebrating the past and bringing a sense of joyful hope for the future.
•Recognising and grasping the significant challenges facing the Cathedral, particularly in terms of financial sustainability, but also realising the enormous potential.
•Helping the Cathedral fully grasp the opportunities of its new governance framework, always striving to ensure that sound governance and accountability are in place.
•Using effective communication platforms to build, expand and diversify the existing ecumenical and other relationships and partnerships making sure that the Cathedral is a force for good in the City, Diocese and County. That it is seen as a welcoming, open and accessible place for all.
•Growing the Cathedral community to be younger and more diverse, maximising existing missional opportunities and developing new evangelistic opportunities for the sake of spiritual and numerical growth, and encouraging discipleship.
•Ensuring that the leadership, work and mission of the Dean and Cathedral are fully integrated into all aspects of Diocesan life, connected with the diverse and dispersed communities the Diocese seeks to serve, working in partnership in proclaiming the Gospel.
•Appreciating and recognising the rich heritage and fabric of the Cathedral and its estate as something that needs careful and constant stewardship to be sustainable, particularly recognising the Church’s commitment to Carbon Net Zero.
•An experienced, confident leader and pastor who sees Christ in all. Someone who is emotionally intelligent, visible, communicative, unifying, encouraging and compassionate. A courageous leader who is collaborative and humble.
•A gifted preacher and teacher in mission who is grounded in prayer, helping people grow as confident missionary disciples and growing the church younger and more diverse. An innovative and creative leader in mission with the ability to navigate and balance the spiritual with the commercial.
•A passion for the Anglican choral tradition, for overseeing music and liturgy. Someone who will maximise the missional potential of worship, whilst also being open to embracing different styles and ways of being Church.
•Gifted in developing partnerships and able to break down barriers. Someone at ease in engaging with the media and in the public square, who can maximise the Cathedral’s place at the heart of the city, Diocese and across the ecumenical County. Someone who loves community engagement, working with others and is able to move seamlessly between intersecting worlds and relationships.
•Understands fully the need for good governance and effective implementation. Strong financial, income generation, risk management, commercial and property awareness. Experience of leading, motivating and empowering staff and volunteer teams. Someone who is visionary, strategic, decisive and resilient, who looks to the long-term with the ability to instil and inspire a strong sense of momentum and purpose.
Founded in 1133 and virtually co-terminus with the county boundary of Cumbria .The Diocese encompasses all the major towns, north of Morecambe Bay up to the Scottish border and from the Irish Sea coastline to the tranquil Eden Valley as well as the city of Carlisle with a population of nearly 110,000.
Largely rural in nature, two of the major industries are farming and tourism, with more than 30million tourists visiting the Lake District each year. The Diocese of Carlisle is geographically one of the larger at 2,570 square miles, though one of the most sparsely populated, with a population of about 500,000.The geography of the Diocese presents challenges in that it is so large that the Cathedral can seem distant, connectedness and outreach are opportunities, as are the development of relationships with city centre churches.
As a member of the Bishop’s Senior Leadership Team, the Dean’s role is important, and it is hoped that the incoming Dean will be proactive in their contribution and in seeking ways that the Cathedral can do even more to align itself with the Diocesan vision and mission opportunities, perhaps championing specific issues on behalf oft he Diocese.