Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean

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Office Holder

The Bishop of Portsmouth, in close consultation with the Dean of Portsmouth and the Cathedral Chapter, wishes to appoint a Canon Chancellor and Vice Dean. This key role in the Cathedral’s life comes at an exciting time, with a renewed vision and strategy in place, and the Cathedral seeking to develop and grow the scope of its mission and ministry ahead of our 2027 centenary.

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, safeguarding, artistic installations and exhibitions, as well as playing a full part in the liturgical, evangelistic and pastoral life of the Cathedral.

The purpose of the role is to play a full part in Chapter’s responsibility for the governance and strategy of the Cathedral under the 2021 Cathedrals Measure, and in delivering the Cathedral’s Vision and Strategy (

Key Resonsibilities

Learning and teaching

  • To lead the Cathedral’s work in the area of learning, teaching and theological reflection
  • To lead the work of the Learning and Schools department,
  • To encourage and enable 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 in collaboration with the Precentor and ministry team,
  • To oversee and develop the Cathedral’s community of volunteers, working with the Volunteer Co-ordinator in developing best practice.
  • To work and consult with the Precentor, who leads on pastoral care, in ensuring and enabling excellence in this area, and taking particular responsibility for Anna Chaplaincy
  • Sharing in the duties of residence, and of preaching and the leadership of Cathedral services
  • To be Chapter’s safeguarding lead, working with the diocesan safeguarding team
  • As Vice Dean, representing the Cathedral, and undertaking the duties of the Dean if the Dean is temporarily absent or unavailable which do not conflict with section 13 of the 2021 Cathedrals Measure.

The Wider Community

  • To be the Chapter’s lead in relationships with Ecumenical and Interfaith 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 key staff and volunteers in widening engagement with 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.


  • Accountable to Chapter for the financial management of the Cathedral finances devolved to the Learning and Engagement budget.

The successful candidate will be a priest in the Church of England or the Anglican Communion, who has been in holy orders for at least six years. In order to be considered for the role 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 of 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.
  • Experience of successful financial management and improved financial stewardship.
  • Have a good working knowledge of digital technology and ICT.

We are committed to encouraging applications that help to reflect the diverse communities that we serve, and are striving to build an inclusive culture where all feel welcome and respected. We would particularly welcome UKME/GMH and younger applicants.

For centuries Portsmouth Cathedral, often referred to as 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, inclusivity 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. Alongside use of the Cathedral and its community spaces for concerts, art exhibitions and workshops we are increasing the commercial use of our facilities as we seek to ensure our financially sustainability.