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28 October 2014
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Faith features

Peter and Lynne Atkinson
Peter and Lynne Atkinson

New Dean for the Faithful City

The new Dean of Worcester Cathedral from April 2007 has been announced...

The Reverend Canon Peter Atkinson has been appointed as the new Dean at Worcester Cathedral.

Peter is currently a Residential Canon and Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral.

"It was a big surprise and a great honour to be offered the Deanery of Worcester"
Revd Canon Peter Atkinson

He will start in the new role in April 2007 and is looking forward to learning about and contributing to the life of the Cathedral and the wider diocese.

Peter said: "It was a big surprise and a great honour to be offered the Deanery of Worcester.

"My wife and family and I look forward to making our home in a beautiful part of England which will be quite new to us.

"Worcester Cathedral is a magnificent building with a noble history and it is very humbling to be asked to contribute something to its life and work.

"My first task will be to get to know the Chapter and the Cathedral community, and the wider diocese.

"I particularly look forward to contact with the civic authorities in both Worcestershire and Dudley, schools, and the University of Worcester.

"I will value the links with other churches and faith communities."

The Right Revd Dr Peter Selby, Bishop of Worcester said: "I am delighted at the news of Canon Peter Atkinson's appointment as Dean.

Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby
Rt Revd Dr Peter Selby

"I particularly look forward to the contribution he will bring to the cathedral and diocese as an experienced member of a Cathedral chapter and as an educator of long experience.

"It will be a pleasure to welcome him and his family among us."

The Revd Canon Alvyn Pettersen has been Acting Dean of Worcester Cathedral since the retirement of the Very Revd Peter Marshall at the end of May this year.

Alvyn said: "Canon Peter Atkinson's appointment as Dean of Worcester is excellent news for the Cathedral, diocese and the region.

"His extensive experience as a priest, educationalist and one who fosters understanding between various Christian traditions across Europe will richly enhance our work.

"The Chapter very much looks forward to welcoming him and his family to the Faithful City and to working with him."

Peter has also been recently involved in the work of cathedral libraries and is particularly looking forward to visiting the one in Worcester.

He said: "I know that Worcester Cathedral has a very fine and historic library where I shall be tempted to spend a lot of time!"

Revd Canon Peter Atkinson's biography:

  • Peter was born in Tunbridge Wells in 1952.
  • He went to Maidstone Grammar School and read Theology as a Scholar of St John's College, Oxford.
  • He was ordained deacon in 1979 and priest in 1980, and served as curate in a team ministry in Clapham, south London, where he met his wife Lynne.
  • They were married in 1983, and from 1983 to 1990 Peter was priest in charge of Tatsfield in Surrey.
  • Their two elder children, James and Elizabeth, were born while they were there.
  • In 1990 they moved to Bath, where Peter was rector of Holy Trinity, Queen Square.
  • A year later, Peter was unexpectedly asked to become Principal of Chichester Theological College.
  • Their third child Leo was born in 1992.
  • On the closure of the Theological College in 1994, Peter became rector of Lavant, near Chichester, and three years later Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral.
  • At Chichester Cathedral he has been responsible for the Cathedral's ministry to visitors, education programme, and library.
  • He has chaired the Diocesan European Ecumenical Committee, fostering links with the Lutheran and Catholic Churches in Bavaria (Bayreuth and Bamberg), and the Catholic Church in northern France (particularly Chartres).
  • He also served for some years as Diocesan Warden of Readers.
  • In 2004 he published Friendship and the Body of Christ (SPCK) which grew out of lectures he gave in the Cathedral.
  • Lynne is the head of Fishbourne Preschool.
  • James is now at Christ Church University, Canterbury.
  • Elizabeth is on an art foundation course in Brighton.
  • Leo attends Bishop Luffa Church of England School in Chichester
last updated: 17/10/06
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