Northern Ireland

Dean of Belfast Rev John Mann moving to England

Rev John Mann
Image caption The Dean of Belfast, Rev John Mann, is leaving o become team rector of a parish in the Diocese of Salisbury

The Dean of Belfast, Rev John Mann, has announced he will be leaving St Anne's Cathedral at Easter to take up a post in England.

The dean, who was appointed in June 2011, is to become team rector of a parish in the Diocese of Salisbury.

He made the announcement during a service in St Anne's on Sunday morning.

He said it had been a hard decision to move to England having lived most of his adult life in Northern Ireland.

"My wife Helen and I have been privileged to serve in four parishes in the Church of Ireland, as well as St Anne's Cathedral, and have seen great change in the community," Dean Mann said.

"Our children were both born here and had much of their education in Belfast. We will be leaving with fond memories and with the intent of being back as often as is practical."

He said the main reason for returning to England was because St Anne's was passing from one phase of transition, into which he was appointed, to another, as the Cathedral Quarter approaches significant change.

"St Anne's will rise to the opportunities and challenges that will face a new dean and the Cathedral Board over the next five years," Dean Mann said. "It is from this perspective a good time to go."

"We will also be moving closer to our family and I look forward not only to that, but to returning for a few years to my primary calling as a parish clergyman. It is a time to look forward for us all."

The Bishop of Conor, Rev Alan Abernethy, a member of the Belfast Cathedral Board said: "I will be forever grateful for John's ministry in St Anne's, for his prayerful presence.

"His clear thinking and compassionate care for many will leave the cathedral in good heart. He and Helen can be assured of the love and prayers of everyone at St Anne's and the clergy and people of Connor Diocese."

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