Thinking Anglicans

Jane Hedges to be Dean of Norwich

Press release from the Prime Minister’s office

Dean of Norwich: Jane Barbara Hedges
7 February 2014

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Venerable Jane Barbara Hedges, BA, Sub-Dean, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Norwich, on the resignation of the Very Reverend Graham Charles Morell Smith, BA, on 31 October 2014.

Notes for editors

The Venerable Jane Hedges (aged 58) was educated at Durham University and Cranmer Hall, Durham and has an Honorary Doctorate from Portsmouth University.

She served a curacy at Holy Trinity with St Columba, Fareham from 1980 to 1983. She then became Team Vicar in the Southampton City Centre Team Ministry from 1983 to 1988 before becoming Diocesan Stewardship Adviser in Portsmouth diocese for 5 years. From 1993 to 2001 she was Canon Pastor at Portsmouth Cathedral. From 2001 to 2003 she was Priest-in-Charge of the Honiton Team Ministry in the Diocese of Exeter, becoming Team Rector in 2003 and also Rural Dean. In 2006 she was appointed Canon Steward at Westminster Abbey and Archdeacon of Westminster, also becoming Sub-Dean in August 2013.

Jane Hedges is married to Chris and they have two sons, Jonathan and Adam. Her interests include travelling, sport, walking, animal welfare and entertaining.

The Norwich diocesan website has First female Dean of Norwich appointed.
Norwich Cathedral has New Dean of Norwich Appointed.

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James ByronConcerned AnglicanFather DavidJohn UKRobert ian Williams Recent comment authors
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Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

This is an excellent and welcome appointment.

Ironically, it’s quite a good time to be a woman in terms of preferment in the C of E at the moment. This may seem to be a strange thing to say but because most people are so fed up with the nonsensical delay in ordaining women as bishops, conversely making up the shortfall in women in high office positions has become all the more imperative.

What about the other ‘minority’ – that could be addressed by Jeffrey John’s next appointment – couldn’t it?

Charles Read
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Charles Read

Much rejoicing in the diocese at this appointment – not just because Jane is a woman but because she will be an excellent person to be Dean.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Ah well, that’s another potential candidate ruled out for Chichester.

Father David
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Father David

That probably rules Dean Hedges out as the first woman bishop which narrows the field a little.

Allan Ronald
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Allan Ronald

‘Narrows the field’? Is the field not open to all in priest’s orders regardless of promotion (think George Arthur Rose) or is that only applicable, theoretically, in Rome?

Father David
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Father David

Alan, isn’t Hadrian the Seventh just a work of pure fiction by that great eccentric Baron Corvo, he who had such a great influence upon one of Archbishop Benson’s boys?

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

In 1880, J C Ryle became Dean of Salisbury, but found himself at the end of the year Bishop Of Liverpool.

Father David
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Father David

More recently than 1880 the Dean of Exeter became suffragan bishop of Lynn in the diocese of Norwich. Canon Hedges is here declared to be 58 years of age, given than at least five years will be spent in the Deanery it would mean that the new Dean will have encroached well into her sixties before another move could be contemplated and so would be an unlikely candidate for elevation to the episcopacy. When was the last time a bishop was appointed who had passed the 60 landmark?

John UK
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John UK

Fr.David, Looking, for example, at the Welsh bench in the 1920s, one might be forgiven for thinking that 60 was the qualifying age for a bishop! (And 84 for retirement) Bangor – Charles A.H.Green -b.1864, cons.(Monmouth)1921 (age 65); trans.(Bangor) 1928 (age 72) (abp.Wales 1934,age 78, died 1944-age 82) Llandaff – Joshua P.Hughes -b.1847, cons.(Llandaff) 1905 (age 58)(retired 1931-age 84) Monmouth – Gilbert C.Joyce -b.1866, cons. (Monmouth) 1928 (age 62)(ret.1940-age 84) St.Asaph – Alfred G.Edwards -b.1848, cons. (st.A) 1889 (age 51); Abp.Wales 1920 (age 72)(ret. 1934-age 86) St.David’s – David L.Prosser -b.1868, cons.(St.D) 1927 (age 59)(Abp.Wales 1944,age 72, (died 1950-age 82)… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

“Who knows what the future holds!” Who knows indeed? I do know that this side of Offa’s Dyke within the next decade 40% of the current stipendiary clergy will have retired. Makes me think that it may have been a mistake to bring in the rule regarding compulsory retirement at 70. After all it’s not all that long ago that Randall Davidson made history by being the first Archbishop of Canterbury to retire, aged 80. Now even popes retire!

Concerned Anglican
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Concerned Anglican

It was a serious mistake for Synod to compel clergy to retire at 70. It was done so in my opinion out of a combination of attempting to favour a youth culture and weeding out those supposedly past their sell by date. However, it is hard to see how much longer the Church can go on pretending that its clergy are ‘office holders’ and not employees and thereby dodging the civil age discrimination rules. Using clergy instead for ‘House for Duty’ of which there are so many these days is quite disingenuous. Nowadays, seventy is the new sixty … don’t… Read more »

James Byron
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James Byron

Agreed, Concerned Anglican. With the abolition of compulsory retirement in the UK, it may well be illegal, depending on the “office holder” tangle, and any exemptions the church has carved out for itself.