The Cathedral which I experienced when I came as Acting Bishop in January 2022, was an unhappy place. Since I have returned, I have noticed a definite up-turn in mood and confidence. This needs to be sustained and grown under the leadership of the next substantive Dean.
The Cathedral’s place in the City, County and Diocese make it a key centre of active apologetics and evangelism. Although cathedrals are seen as being at the centre, they are creatively on the edge of the Church in the sense that their purpose is to turn visitors into pilgrims. This is a very particular calling for Lincoln Cathedral. The Dean needs to lead and develop a culture which serves this purpose, alongside the inclusive welcome of the Cathedral for worship and enquiry, silence, sanctuary and education. The Dean will lead the delicate balance of the Cathedral’s primary role as God’s temple and the need to balance the books and be generous in accommodating community and commercial use. No marketing and fund-raising will be effective without the noticed commitment of the Dean.
Lincoln Cathedral is extraordinary in its beauty, in the landscape of its setting, with a history encompassing saintly and intellectually colossal bishops and cathedral clergy, but also pogrom, tragedy and sad division. It is at its best in the profundity of its worship of Almighty God, recognising that the hinge of release into thankfulness and praise before our Saviour is the bended knee. The Dean must be a priest living a holy life which is contagious, and which models the life of discipleship into which all Christians are invited. Out of this, the Dean will be naturally accomplished and sensitive liturgically, encouraging creative excellence from the Precentor and Choral Foundation. Similarly, the Dean will come with a proven record as a preacher, teacher and a communicator who demonstrates attention to the wider culture and whatever might be emerging which the Cathedral might usefully speak into.
These will include:
Developing a positive, respectful and effective culture by being a role model of calm resilience, a listening, focused and joyful presence. Growing the confidence of individuals and the teams to be empowered in their roles, so they are willing to embrace change and deal with challenges together.
Building on existing work and seeking new opportunities for evangelism to promote spiritual and numerical growth rooted in inspiring worship. Encouraging discipleship as well as growing the Cathedral community to be younger and more diverse. Continuing the growth and extending the reach of the excellent work of the Education Department.
Reflecting on the metaphors of the Cathedral as a beacon and beating heart in the City and Diocese to develop an outward looking, prayerful, and generous strategy of welcome and missional outreach. Integrating the Cathedral, its leadership, work, and mission into all aspects of City and Diocesan life, making sure it is connected and working in partnership in proclaiming the Gospel, engaging with the DBE and Local Mission Partnerships.
Embodying the vision of the Cathedral and ensuring that its mission and ministry is communicated to all internal and external stakeholders. Encouraging the use of all channels of communication and promotion, including social media, to attract more international awareness and support.
Ensuring the financial challenges facing the Cathedral are managed and resolved sustainably, leading on fund-raising initiatives and building on the potential of recently completed projects and maximising the Cathedral’s assets. Navigating the changes required under the Cathedrals Measure, grasping the opportunities this will bring and continuing to ensure sound transparent governance and accountability are in place.
Recognising and progressing the work needed to sustain the beauty and potential of the Cathedral’s rich heritage and its complex estate, particularly in meeting and articulating the Cathedral’s commitment to the Church of England’s Carbon Net Zero target.
Someone who is:
A collegiate, communicative, calmly resilient leader. Someone with a pastoral heart who relates well to others by actively listening, understanding and encouraging them. A visible, enabling leader who can hold the collective vision and bring a sense of purpose, offering joy and hope for the future whilst dealing with the challenges of the day.
An inspiring preacher and prayerful, role model who is personally enriched by the daily worshipping life of the Cathedral and the richness of its liturgy.
A strategic thinker, who is comfortable with complexity. Capable of balancing priorities and responding in an agile way to changing circumstances.
A leader in creative outreach and mission, who can maintain and potentially diversify the rhythm of worship, turning visitors into pilgrims, and helping people develop as confident disciples. Someone who is dedicated to growing the Cathedral into a younger, more diverse and inclusive church.
Able to reach across barriers and gather people to a cause. Confident in the public square and engaging with those from all walks of life. Open to, and generous in, the Diocese and in community collaboration, committed to developing partnerships for their own sake and the good that they can do.
Able to demonstrate commitment to supporting the ministry of the Bishop. Understanding the centrality of cathedral engagement with the diocesan plan, Time To Change Together, as a Type One church for the diocese.
Financially aware, experienced in fund raising and income generation and who understands the need for good governance. Aware of the strategic and financial importance of commercial activity and the management and potential of the Cathedral’s estate. An ability to enable and sustain long term projects. Recognising the importance of the balance between the spiritual and missional with the commercial imperatives of the Cathedral.
The Diocese of Lincoln covers some 2600 square miles of Lincolnshire. As one of the largest dioceses in the country stretching from the Humber Estuary in the North to the Wash in the South, we are home to a population of just over 1,000,000 people living in a variety of different settings from the urban centres of The City of Lincoln, Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe to the many small villages surrounded by extensive farmland which mark our landscape. The county of Lincolnshire is a largely agricultural county, which grow significant amounts of wheat, barley, sugar beet, and oilseed rape.
Lincoln Cathedral is first and foremost a church, the seat of the Bishop of Lincoln and a centre of worship and mission. Sitting on top of the escarpment above the city of Lincoln, it is a powerful symbol of God's presence, and a source of significant local pride. A minimum of three services take place in the Cathedral each day. It is the ‘mother church’ of Greater Lincolnshire and holds many of the county-wide services of celebration, commemoration, and memorial. These services include the Annual Civic Service and services to mark significant events for the RAF who have a strong presence and history in the county. Lincoln Cathedral is a place of pilgrimage with the Shrine of St. Hugh at its heart. People come here to seek God, to learn more about faith, or to take time out of a busy day for quiet reflection. It is a place of welcome and hospitality where people of any faith or none are encouraged to feel at home. Alongside this, the making and nurturing of Christian disciples is an intentional part of our ministry.