This morning I am announcing that I am relinquishing my position as dean from the end of September. As September marks the tenth anniversary of my appointment it seems a suitable time to go, though I do admit that this decision is also influenced by the external circumstances that prevail at the moment. The fact is the process of the Visitation will take some months, and will necessarily look at various aspects of cathedral life, including the role of dean. In the ten years that I have been dean, the role has changed exponentially in order to deal with the increased number of responsibilities that have grown in that period. I have long advocated that the role needs looking at and that appropriate training for incoming deans is essential. I think it more productive for those discussions to take place in a fairly open space, freed up without the current dean being involved, and so I have taken the very hard decision, in full discussion with my wife Lois, of course, to stand down.
I knew this day would have to come eventually, and whenever that was going to be, it was not going to be easy. But what I would say is that announcing it today has nothing to do with the care and compassion you have shown me, especially in recent weeks. I am humbled and grateful for that in more ways than I can say. I am also grateful for the support and friendship of Bishop Philip in what has inevitably been a difficult season for us both.
There will be, of course, further announcements about how things will look post-September, and I hope you will be patient as things are put in place. I know Bishop Philip is working hard on that. I am conscious too that this will place added responsibility on my colleagues, and I am, again, hugely grateful for the support they have shown me in these last few weeks. Please pray for them as they are constantly praying for you. As do I. Now is not the time for eulogies, but I can safely say that having some care and responsibility for this community has been the greatest privilege of my life, and I will take that honour with me into the next phase of my walk with God. My last Sunday is the 25th September.