The 71st Dean of Exeter Cathedral is to be the Very Reverend Jonathan Greener, currently the Dean of Wakefield Cathedral in the Diocese of Leeds, Downing Street has announced.
Jonathan will take up his new role at the end of November, on the Sunday before Advent.
He succeeds the Very Rev Jonathan Draper, who resigned at the end of August.
As Dean of Wakefield, Jonathan carried out the most complete makeover of any Cathedral in recent times, raising £7.5 million and completely transforming the interior, which had been untouched since the 1870s.
Jonathan’s wife Pamela also rose to fame for writing and singing a VAT ditty warning that then Chancellor George Osborne’s proposals to end VAT relief on repairs to historic buildings would plunge church restoration projects into financial crisis. Her song went viral and the ensuing outcry forced the government into a U-turn.
Bishop Robert said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Jonathan Greener as our new Dean and look forward to working with him. He has a strong track record of running a Cathedral, of fundraising and of re-ordering its interior imaginatively. His experience in Wakefield makes him ideally placed to take our Cathedral into its next chapter, serving the people of Devon.”
Jonathan said: “I am delighted and humbled to be invited to serve as the next Dean of Exeter Cathedral. This is a fantastic Cathedral which speaks of the glory of God and the job of those leading the Cathedral is to look after it on behalf of the people of Devon, and of the generations who come after us. There has been a Christian presence on this site for 1,600 years and I feel privileged to be part of the next stage of its journey.
“I am looking forward to working closely with the Bishop and the Cathedral staff and the wonderful volunteers, who give so much of their time to keep the Cathedral open and serving visitors, worshippers and those who need a quiet and sacred space in their lives.”
Jonathan has served for ten years as Dean of Wakefield Cathedral, overseeing the transformation of the building and many new initiatives: introducing a new coffee shop, gift shop and Visitor Information Point, and introducing a ‘Messy Cathedral’ for families.
Previously, he was Archdeacon of Pontefract and he also chaired the Wakefield Diocesan Board of Education for four years. He also chairs the Sponsors of the Trinity Academy in Halifax.
Jonathan is an executive member of the Association of English Cathedrals and is also a Church Commissioner.