Dean of Wells

Posted 18 days agoExpires in 8 days
Wells Cathedral, Cathedral Green, Wells
Office Holder
Deans' Stipend

From Bishop Michael

As someone who’s been in post myself for less than a year, I have the luxury of coming to Wells and its cathedral with the fresh eyes of a newcomer. This has given me a privileged perspective. I’ve been able to encounter the enormous good and opportunities that Wells contains. I’ve also been able to see the challenges which will need to be grappled in the coming years if Wells is truly to inhabit its role as the Cathedral Church of our diocese.

I love being here. Our Cathedral and its community constantly offer me a home and a welcome. Living right next door to its precincts, it’s the base from which my mission and ministry to our whole diocese extends. Within its structures and people I have found collegiality and fellowship, kindness and support. I’ve appreciated immensely being able to work alongside our Acting Dean, Anne Gell and our Cathedral’s Chapter, staff, volunteers and congregation. I look forward to this relationship and partnership only growing as we appoint a new permanent Dean.

Wells Cathedral is a place that evokes huge affection – among its congregation, in the people of its city, within our diocese and across our county. Folk love coming to this place and I sense that there is an appetite for our Cathedral to play a greater part in the lives of many different people. Critical within this will be identifying ways of enabling Wells Cathedral to engage with much broader demographics in terms of age and cultural background. Already within our Cathedral, much work is taking place to develop its strategy. A key role for our new Dean will be to take this work further and to embed it. This will mean discovering the vision God has for our county, our diocese, our city and our congregation. It will then be about working out what kind of Cathedral we need to be to serve all that God calls us to do. In this, Wells has people and staff ready to get their sleeves rolled up and to get going. This is a place of great goodwill. Our challenge is how to focus that behind the purposes God has for us and our world. All cathedrals are now medium-sized enterprises employing many different people, with funding issues and with many different aspects to their operation. Wells has its fair share of both the opportunities and challenges that go with this. The work of our new Dean will be to discover not only how to oversee all that must be done, but how what is done can happen for, through and in God.

These will include:

  • Giving priority to rebuilding the team and culture at the Cathedral as identified by the Bishop’s Visitation Report and the SCIE Audit Report; nurturing a community rooted in prayer and worship. Further developing the work that has begun on values, consistent role modelling, caring and engaging leadership will be key;
  • Helping the Cathedral fully grasp the opportunities of a new governance context, always striving to ensure that sound governance and accountability are in place;
  • Developing an exciting, joyful vision with and for the Cathedral about its role in mission in the City, historic County and Diocese. Building relationships and partnerships, making sure that the Cathedral is recognised for its hospitality and seen as a key partner, welcoming, open and interested in all those outside its walls;
  • Looking to build on what is already good and developing new evangelistic opportunities for the sake of spiritual and numerical growth, encouraging discipleship as well as growing the Cathedral community to be younger and more diverse;
  • Recognising and grasping the challenges and opportunities facing the Cathedral, particularly in terms of fundraising and financial sustainability. Excited to play a full part in communicating the vision of the cathedral and willing to engage in realising the enormous potential of the projects that are already in train;
  • Continuing to recognise, appreciate and develop 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.

Someone who is/has:

  • An experienced, encouraging leader and pastor. Someone who is emotionally intelligent, visible, communicative, unifying, rallying and compassionate. A positive leader with energy who is joyful, collaborative, and humble. With experience of leading, motivating and empowering staff and volunteer teams, and developing a healthy, safe culture;
  • Visionary, strategic, and resilient, who looks to the long-term with the ability to instil and inspire a powerful sense of vision, momentum, and purpose;
  • An innovative and creative leader who is grounded in prayer, committed to helping people develop as confident missionary disciples and growing the church younger and more diverse. A preacher and teacher gifted in mission with the ability to navigate and balance the spiritual with the commercial;
  • A love for Anglican worship, its choral tradition, 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 who is instinctively inclusive, celebrates diversity and who will use the Cathedral’s convening ability to make the most of its place at the heart of the City, the historic County and Diocese. Someone who enables and promotes community engagement and ownership;
  • Competent in good governance and effective implementation. Strong financial, fundraising, income generation, commercial and property experience. An ability to enable, articulate and sustain long term projects.

Wells Cathedral stands at the heart of this tiny city, providing a place of prayer, peace, and beauty that is open and welcoming to all. For over 800 years, it has been steeped in prayer, and that daily rhythm of worship lies at the centre of its ministry. The excellent choral tradition enhances worship, and the sweeping gothic architecture looks heavenwards.

The Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop and works closely with him and the Diocese, so that Parishes can look to their Cathedral for spiritual support. The Diocese of Bath and Wells is extensive, including both small and remote communities but also major cities with large churches such as Bath Abbey and Taunton Minster. Wells Cathedral serves the whole Diocese and County by commemorating major occasions of both joy and sadness.

Thousands of visitors come each year to see this building and the medieval street of Vicars’ Close. Over 350 volunteers ensure that all visitors are welcomed, able to experience a guided tour, or receive spiritual help.