A new Dean has been appointed to Peterborough Cathedral

Downing Street has announced this morning (18th July 2017) that The Queen has approved the appointment of the Revd Canon Tim Sledge as Dean of Peterborough.

Canon Sledge is currently Vicar of Romsey in the Diocese of Winchester, a post he has held since 2008. Before that he spent five years as Mission Enabler in the Diocese of Peterborough.

As Vicar of Romsey Canon Sledge is responsible for Romsey Abbey, which was originally founded as a Benedictine nunnery in 1000AD and is the largest parish church in Hampshire. Under his leadership the Abbey has succeeded in reversing a substantial annual deficit and growing both its congregation and its visitor numbers.

Tim, who trained as a musician, has contributed to several books on mission, in particular on faith and worship amongst young people. He chairs the Church of England’s Young Vocations Strategy Group and is part of the nationally recognised Leading Your Church Into Growth team.and young peol

During his time at Romsey Abbey, Canon Sledge led a seven year development plan. This focused on growing the church’s work with young families and on discipleship, spirituality, community work and the creative use of buildings and heritage. He also worked with the local authority and other partners in Romsey to set up a consortium to promote the town as a visitor destination. This has resulted in a 15% increase in visitor numbers.

Tim has established a link between the Abbey and the Anglican Province of Burundi and has made several visits there with members of the congregation. He is Chaplain to the Mayors of Romsey and Test Valley, and to the Scouts and the Royal British Legion. He is also a co-founder of Triangulate, a local mental health charity, and Romsey Abbey is currently the only parish church in the country to be Mindful Employer. See below for a fuller biography.

The new Dean joins Peterborough Cathedral at an exciting time as it approaches the celebration of its 900th anniversary in 2018 and emerges from a period of cash flow difficulties with a robust business plan in place.

Canon Tim Sledge said: “It is a great privilege to be invited to take up this role and I am very much looking forward to leading Peterborough Cathedral into a new phase of its life. For too long the Cathedral has been in the news because of its financial problems and this has obscured the good work it has done, and continues to do, in ministering to the wider community. I shall be working with the Chapter and staff to help the Cathedral meet its financial targets and doing all I can to ensure that the Cathedral becomes a good news story, in every sense, for the city and the diocese.”

The Rt Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, said:

“I am delighted at Tim Sledge’s appointment as Dean of Peterborough. He holds the values and traditions of Cathedral life and worship, while at the same time having a passion for mission and for leading people to faith in Jesus Christ.

“His time at Romsey Abbey, and before that in this diocese, have shown his faithfulness to our core beliefs and values, and his effectiveness in mission. I am very much looking forward to welcoming him, and to working with him.”

The Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, added:

“Tim’s contribution to Romsey and the wider community here has been exceptional. Under his wise and good-humoured leadership the Abbey has grown from strength to strength, developing its mission with passion, confidence and friendship.

“We will all be very sorry to see Tim go, and I know he will be especially missed by the community at Romsey. But I am filled with hope and encouragement for the future of Peterborough Cathedral, which I am sure will thrive with the help of Tim’s judicious and prayerful stewardship.

“I wish Tim every success on his return to Peterborough, and I want to thank him on behalf of the whole Diocese of Winchester for everything he has done during his nine fruitful years with us.”

The Revd Canon Jonathan Baker, Acting Dean of Peterborough, said:

“I welcome the news that Tim Sledge is to be the next Dean of Peterborough. Tim’s experience and clear focus on mission are exactly what the Cathedral community needs at this time and I am looking forward to our ministry developing with confidence and vigour with his leadership.”

Canon Tim Sledge succeeds the Very Revd Charles Taylor who retired in October 2016.

It is expected that his installation service will be held at 3.30pm on Sunday 15 October 2017.

Watch:

A short video entitled “Meet the New Dean of Peterborough” can be viewed here:

https://youtu.be/kP6Aru3lx_A

Contact:

For photos, interviews or further information please contact

Liz Hurst, Communications Manager, Peterborough Cathedral

Liz.hurst@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk or 01733 355315

 

The Revd Canon Tim Sledge – a brief biography

Tim Sledge was born at Dronfield near Sheffield in 1964.

He studied Music and History at the College of Ripon and York St John (Leeds University) from 1984 – 1987, and then achieved a MA in Music Performance, specialising in Baroque music, at York University in 1988.

Before training for ordination, Tim spent six years working in arts administration running music festivals in Yorkshire. He trained for Ordination with an Advanced Diploma in Urban Theology at Trinity College, Bristol,from 1992-1995.

Tim was ordained at Wakefield Cathedral in 1995 and his first church role was as Curate at St Thomas’ Church, Huddersfield and Assistant Missioner for the Diocese of Wakefield. He was then vicar of three churches in the Halifax area until 2003 when he took up the role of Mission Enabler in the Diocese of Peterborough.

As Mission Enabler, based at the Diocesan Office in Northampton, he was responsible for offering advice and help to the 360 or so parishes in the Diocese, across the Soke of Peterborough, Northamptonshire and Rutland. Amongst many projects designed to strengthen and grow the work of parishes in sharing their faith, he initiated Critical Mass. This large gathering of young people from several churches for an interactive time of worship and celebration of Holy Communion was held at various locations in the diocese, including Peterborough Cathedral.

Tim was appointed Vicar of Romsey in 2008. Romsey Abbey is a large and busy parish church with an average Sunday attendance, across all services, of over 350. Its regular attendance has grown by 20% in the past six years and three additional monthly services of different styles have been added. An estimated 40,000 visitors come to see the historic Abbey each year. It has a daughter church, St Swithun’s, on the outskirts of the town.

Whilst at Romsey Abbey Tim has continued to find innovative ways of connecting the church with the community. In September 2015 he conducted two sell out “ice cream tours”, pedalling around the Abbey on a refrigerated tricycle borrowed from Romsey Market stallholder, Sundae’s Child. His light hearted commentary was delivered with a serving of a flavour of ice cream appropriate to each part of the building they were in.

Canon Sledge was appointed Area Dean of Romsey in 2013 and a non-residentiary Canon of Winchester Cathedral in 2014.

He has written and contributed to several books including Youth Emmaus 1 and 2 (2002, 2006), Mission Shaped Parish (2006), Get a Life (2007) and chapters in Mission Shaped Youth and Young People and Worship: a Practical Guide (both 2007). These were published by Church House Publishing. He also wrote Creative Communion (BRF 2008) and contributed to Daily Reflections for Common Worship (Canterbury Press 2015).

Tim is married to Caroline, a head teacher, and has two stepchildren, Grace (20) and Matt (18).

He enjoys cooking, poetry, golf and the arts, particularly singing, attending concerts and visiting art galleries.

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