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Downing Street has announced today that the Very Revd Christopher Dalliston, Dean of Newcastle, is to become the new Dean of Peterborough.
Christopher, 61, has been Dean of Newcastle since 2003, overseeing significant improvements to Newcastle Cathedral’s facilities for both visitors and worshippers.
He has been instrumental in the re-invigoration of Newcastle city centre through leading partnerships with the City Council and other key agencies to breathe life back into the city’s heart. In March this year, the Cathedral was awarded a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant as part of a £6 million project to transform the nave, renew visitor facilities and re-shape external spaces.
Under his leadership, Newcastle Cathedral has built partnerships with city institutions, including the universities, and other churches and faith communities. The Cathedral sponsors a Street Pastor project and a Night Church, offering itself as a spiritual sanctuary at the heart of the city’s night life. Christopher was one of four faith leaders (Christian, Jewish Muslim and Sikh) to take part in an interfaith, intergenerational visit to Auschwitz in 2013, resulting in an annual programme of interfaith events at the Cathedral.
Christopher commented: “It’s been a real privilege to have been part of the life of Newcastle Cathedral over the past fourteen years and to have seen so much achieved. We are now on the brink of delivering the Common Ground in Sacred Space project to transform not just the building, but its capacity to welcome and engage with many new people and partners. It will set a new course for the Cathedral for the coming years.
“It will be sad to let go of all this, but I am very aware that we have in place a talented and committed group of people who have the skills to bring this project to completion over the coming years. It will also be a wrench to leave the North East. Our children have grown up here and we have made so many friends and have fallen in love with the city and this beautiful part of the world.
“The call to Peterborough has been in many ways unexpected, but insistent, and I am looking forward to what will certainly be a challenging and very exciting new stage of ministry.”
The Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Revd Christine Hardman, paid tribute to Chris’s work in the city: “For fourteen years, Chris has served both the Cathedral and the people of Newcastle superbly. His vision has been to establish the Cathedral’s place at the heart of city centre life, with a care for the most vulnerable and with close links to city institutions and businesses, as well as other churches and faiths. He is responsible for many improvements to the Cathedral and most recently has been leading our bid for Heritage Lottery funding to secure the Cathedral’s future as an inspirational place to visit and worship.
“Chris leaves a legacy that is truly exciting, one where we are able to build for the future. He moves with our gratitude for all that he has given to this Diocese and we assure him of our prayers and very best wishes.”
“At this exciting stage of future development, I have asked the Venerable Geoff Miller, Archdeacon of Northumberland, to lead the Cathedral as Acting Dean and Sponsor of the Common Ground in Sacred Space project, while the process of appointing a permanent successor to Chris gets underway.”
The Venerable Geoff Miller said: “I have an immense affection for Newcastle Cathedral and I am very happy to accept Bishop Christine’s invitation to serve as Acting Dean at what is an incredibly exciting time in its life. The Cathedral has an extremely talented and experienced team who have overseen significant improvements to the building in recent years. I very much look forward to working alongside them and our partners as we progress the multi-million pound project to transform the Cathedral and secure it for future generations.”
The Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Revd Donald Allister, welcomed Christopher’s appointment. He said: “I am delighted that Chris Dalliston will be joining us as Dean. His ministry at Newcastle Cathedral has been very impressive. I am confident that he will bring much-needed gifts and perspective to our Cathedral and Diocese. I look forward to welcoming Chris and working with him.”
Peterborough Cathedral is one of the finest Norman cathedrals in England, next year celebrating its 900th anniversary.
Chris will be installed as Dean of Peterborough on Saturday 20th January 2018, at the 3.30pm service of Evensong. He succeeds the Very Revd Charles Taylor who retired from Peterborough Cathedral in October 2016.
Chris’s last service at Newcastle Cathedral will be our 4pm Evensong on Sunday 7th January 2018 with a farewell afterwards. The process of appointing a new Dean of Newcastle is likely to begin in the New Year.