St. Paul’s, London, has new dean


St. Paul’s Cathedral in London has a new dean – its first since Graham Knowles stepped down amidst criticism over the cathedral’s response to the presence of Occupy protestors that were eventually forced off cathedral property last week.

From The Guardian, word that The Very Rev. Dr. David Ison, dean of the Bradford cathedral, will take over come May.

[Ison] said: “My appointment as dean of St Paul’s has been as unexpected for me as the vacancy itself was unanticipated.

“The upheavals of the last few months at St Paul’s, and the underlying spiritual, social, economic and political issues which they highlight for our country, are very much on the agenda for the cathedral in London – but they are also issues for people, churches and cathedrals across the country.

“Even Bradford has had an Occupy camp, although it was in front of City Hall rather than at the cathedral.”

A release from the cathedral offers a deeper biography:

…The Queen has approved the nomination of The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of Bradford, as the next Dean of St Paul’s.

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison, 57, was born and brought up in Brentwood, Essex. After taking a Combined Studies degree at the University of Leicester he trained for ordination at St John’s College, Nottingham. He served his title at St Nicholas and St Luke Deptford in the diocese of Southwark from 1979 to 1985, while also writing a PhD in church history at King’s College, London to develop skills to work in training people for ministry. From 1985 to 1988 he was Lecturer at the Church Army Training College in Blackheath. In 1988 he became Vicar at Potters Green in the diocese of Coventry, where he worked to physically and spiritually rebuild the church. In 1993 he moved to Exeter as Diocesan Continuing Ministerial Education Officer to take on a variety of roles in training and supporting clergy in their ministry, and in 1995 also became a Residentiary Canon at Exeter Cathedral. Since 2005 he has been Dean of Bradford, where he has enabled the Cathedral to play a significant role in the life of the city and the diocese of Bradford.

David is married to Hilary, who is also an ordained priest and works in London for the Church of England’s Ministry Division. They have two married daughters and two sons, and became grandparents two years ago.

His interests include history and current affairs, interfaith relations, DIY and scuba diving; and he drives a kit-car he made himself.

The Reverend Canon Michael Hampel, Precentor and Canon in Residence, said: “We are delighted that David is coming to be Dean of St Paul’s. He brings with him a wealth of parochial and cathedral experience. The Chapter and the whole cathedral community, with David at the helm, will continue to make St Paul’s a focus for Christian ministry and speak of the many things that matter to people across London and beyond. We greatly look forward to welcoming him among us, together with Hilary and their family.”

We look forward to his installation as Dean of St Paul’s on Friday 25 May 2012.

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