Sunderland born priest, the Reverend Charlie Allen, has been appointed Canon Chancellor of Durham Cathedral, in succession to Canon Rosalind Brown who is retiring in the summer.
The Reverend Allen grew up in Sunderland, with grandparents living within hearing distance of the ‘Roker Roar’, Sunderland AFC’s original ground. Her family then moved to Yorkshire, with Reverend Allen returning to the North East to study Philosophy and Theology at Durham University ahead of training for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge. Her current position is with the Diocese of Salisbury as Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Coordinator for Initial Ministerial Education.
As a Residentiary Canon of Durham Cathedral, Reverend Allen will lead on external relations for the Cathedral, actively promoting and facilitating dialogue and public debate across the region. She will oversee Christian stewardship and the welcome of visitors, work with the Diocese and the Bishop of Durham to enhance the Cathedral as the seat of the Bishop’s ministry and lead on the Bishop of Durham’s 2020 designated Year of Pilgrimage. She will work with the Diocese, establishing a wider pattern of parish pilgrimage to the Cathedral and help fulfil the potential for mission and engagement through Open Treasure, the Cathedral’s world-class exhibition experience that tells the story of Christianity in North East England and of Durham Cathedral, a highlight being the display of Anglo-Saxon Treasures of St Cuthbert in the medieval Great Kitchen. The new Canon Chancellor will have interim responsibility for Learning and Outreach, the Cathedral’s Collections and Library, and pastoral care of the worshipping community of Durham Cathedral.
The Reverend Allen says, “Growing up in the North East of England has gifted me a sense of kinship with Saints such as Cuthbert, Aidan and Bede - they are part of the landscape, and our lives were shaped and formed in relation to this great cloud of witnesses.
“I very much look forward to joining Durham Cathedral at such an exciting point in its life within the community of the Diocese of Durham and North East region. It will be a joy to be an ambassador for the Cathedral’s ministry and mission, and to welcome tourists and pilgrims alike. I am thrilled at the opportunity to engage with Bishop Paul’s 2020 Year of Pilgrimage, and to explore together our vocation as a pilgrim people in dialogue with Saint Cuthbert and all who have gone before us bearing the light of Christ.”
Thanking her for outstanding contribution to the Diocese of Salisbury, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, says, “Many of us in the Diocese of Salisbury, especially our ordinands and curates, have good reason to be thankful for Charlie. Congratulations to her on her appointment as Canon Chancellor of Durham Cathedral. She will be going home to a job that looks made for her but we will miss her.”
The Right Reverend Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham says, “I am delighted that Charlie is coming to join the excellent team at Durham Cathedral. She will bring fresh creativity and ideas to the abundance already in place. It will be a joy to have her deep rooted local love of the Northern Saints in the wider Diocesan life.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham says, “Charlie’s arrival in Durham and the North East will be a true home coming. Her unbounded affinity for the region will be invaluable as she leads on the Cathedral’s external affairs and wider public engagement. Her rich experience of pastoral care and chaplaincy will bring depth to the nurturing of the Cathedral’s worshipping community and the Cathedral’s Christian stewardship. We look forward to welcoming Charlie and her family as they move to Durham over the summer period.”
Canon Rosalind Brown retires summer 2018 with Sunday 8th July being her last day of worship at Durham Cathedral. The Reverend Allen will be installed as Canon Chancellor of Durham Cathedral on 22nd September.