Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Dean of Exeter

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office

Dean of Exeter: Jonathan Greener
From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Published: 19 September 2017

Reverend Jonathan Desmond Francis Greener has been appointed Dean of the Cathedral Church, Exeter.

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Very Reverend Jonathan Desmond Francis Greener, MA, Dean of Wakefield, in the diocese of Leeds, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, Exeter, on the resignation of the Very Reverend Jonathan Lee Draper, BA, PhD, on 31 August 2017.

Background information

The Very Reverend Jonathan Greener (56) trained for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield. He studied Theology and Religious Studies at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served his title as Curate at St Matthew, Elephant and Castle, in the diocese of Southwark from 1991 to 1994 before becoming Bishop of Truro’s Domestic Chaplain from 1994 to 1996. From 1996 to 2003 he was Vicar at the Good Shepherd, Brighton in Chichester diocese. From 2003 to 2007 he was Archdeacon of Pontefract in Wakefield diocese. From 2007 to 2014 he was Dean of Wakefield in Wakefield diocese and since 2014 he has been Dean of Wakefield in Leeds diocese.

He is married to Pamela, a retired international tax accountant, now a freelance musician.

His interests include photography, cookery, languages and travel.

Posted by Peter Owen on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at 10:07am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

So it's only bishops who have to be football fans then?

Posted by: David Emmott on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at 4:30pm BST

I wonder whether the new Dean of Exeter will be seen wearing his Cures Hat( I wish I had a french keyboard} which first appeared on that not to be forgotten TV blockbuster Priest Idol

Also will he be proved to be the last Dean of Wakefield following the power grab by Leeds and Wakefield no longer being a cathedral in a real sense.

Posted by: Ian on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at 5:56pm BST

That was quick

Posted by: Priscilla White on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 8:14am BST

Jonathan Greener is the second Dean in a row to be imported from Yorkshire to Devon. Let us hope and pray that Dean Greener has a happier time in the West Country than his immediate Bostonian predecessor - Jonathan Draper. Conversely, Dean Keith Jones travelled the other way from Exeter to York.
It is often said that deans are the Managing Directors of our historic cathedrals, personally I'd prefer it if they were more regarded as the Spiritual Directors. It would seem today that to become a cathedral dean it helps if you have a proven track record in raising shed loads of money. I believe that David Ison placed Bradford cathedral on a more solid financial footing prior to his appointment to St. Paul's. In the reporting of this latest appointment £7.5 million raised for the internal reordering of Wakefield cathedral features prominently. Conversely, the sad tale of the last Dean of Peterborough (now happily ministering in Salisbury) shews that financial acumen seems to be an essential quality for those who occupy the Deaneries of England. Perhaps having seen the writing on the wall, or maybe for other personal reasons, the Incumbent of Romsey Abbey has withdrawn his acceptance to become the next Dean of Peterborough.Surely, there are highly qualified lay people who could exercise oversight of cathedral finances leaving the dean to exercise more priestly and spiritual roles? Shall we ever again see the appointment of people like Eric Milner-White or J Armitage Robinson to be the chief pastor of an English cathedral? Liverpool is currently vacant - we watch and wait and see!

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 8:50am BST

@Ian raises an interesting point. May be this is a good opportunity for the Bishop of Leeds to initiate a long-overdue review in to Wakefield Cathedral, and its place in the overall life of the Diocese of Leeds. Given its proximity to Leeds, and the growing potential of Leeds Minster, I think there is a strong case for asking whether the 'satellite' cathedrals of Wakefield and Bradford in particular should become places of service rather than status?

For Wakefield to become a Minster would be no big deal for Jo Public (or most churchgoers for that matter), and not carry the stigma of 'demotion.' However, it would release a huge funding commitment from the Commissioners for other more deserving projects. It would provide an opportunity to clear out the dead wood and redeploy some of the clergy in an over-staffed church, and reallocate funds to other spheres of mission. Contrast the cost of a Dean and two Commissioners' Canons, plus all the other costs a cathedral's funding attracts, to the staffing costs at Leeds Minster, for example.

Wakefield Cathedral has done well with external funding for large scale redevelopment in the past few years, and is on a reasonably sound footing (compared to most other parishes in the former Wakefield Diocese). This is too good an opportunity not to be missed.

Posted by: Tim Newns on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 9:48am BST

Reports which have reached me say that Jonathan Greener has been a fine, imaginative Dean of Wakefield, achieving much for the Cathedral and its congregation, as well as making it known in the wider community.
Since nobody so far has bothered to do so, let me assure him and his wife of my good wishes and prayers when they go to Exeter.

Posted by: Barry on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 10:10am BST

'Reports have reached me...' says @Barry. Perhaps someone who lives in Wakefield might be permitted to say that there is no substitute for hands-on experience at the coal face. Barry should talk to people who have worked at Wakefield Cathedral in recent years and listen to their 'reports' alongside those he has received at long distance.

Posted by: Mike Dobson on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 12:20pm BST

Mike: you know neither how far I am from Wakefield, nor the identity of my informants. In any case, my point remains - what I have heard about Jonathan Greener has been positive. No Dean can hope to please everyone, or get everything right, and there will always be complainers. My comment rested on a wish that we might all (myself definitely included) try to show gratitude and appreciation where possible, instead of endlessly carping and criticising.

Fr David: It would be wonderful to see the appointment of the like of the great Eric Milner-White or Armitage Robinson to Deaneries. But would someone as shy and scholarly as Milner-White even to be accepted for ordination today?

Posted by: Barry on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 5:35pm BST

Barry, you are correct in your assumption regarding Eric Milner-White. Similarly, I often wonder if today the Blessed Michael Ramsey would ever have got through ACCM (or whatever it is called nowadays), he certainly wouldn't make it onto the Bench let alone become Archbishop of Canterbury. In choosing bishops for the Church in the 21st century, surely we need to look beyond mere managerial skills.

Posted by: Father David on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 6:46pm BST

Dear Father David, You didn't mention the scholarly and eccentric Dean Addleshaw of Chester. On graduation in 1970 I worked for 6 weeks as his research assistant for his chapter in the history of York Minster ed by Aylmer and Cant .which alas never got written..Owen Chadwick coming in at the last minute to do a rescue job

Posted by: Perry Butler on Thursday, 21 September 2017 at 9:27am BST

It's good to see that an enthusiastic participant on the mini MBA for deans has been rewarded for his positive feedback. Good to see, too, that Bishop and Dean-designate have a common connection through their membership of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Posted by: Oliver Jackson on Thursday, 21 September 2017 at 10:03am BST

Dear Father David

As the Vicar of Romsey, who has withdrawn for personal health reasons from Peterborough. It is far better to trust those reasons and respect them for what they are. I am fully aware of the issues and challenges which Peterborough face, and did not see the writing on the wall. Please read that the reasons are for personal health reasons and stop speculating otherwise. For the record, the only writing on the wall for Peterborough is hope and good news for the future. Please desist from your speculations and let the Bishop and Chapter who are working tirelessly for the future to do their job. Yes - the role of Cathedral Dean is changing - as is every other role in the church of England. We all need to respond to the changing and challenging times we face. Our cathedrals are wonderful and precious places and need a level of management and pastoral oversight and care to grow them in depth and in number. But let me re-iterate that my withdrawal was to do with my health and nothing else.

Posted by: Tim S on Thursday, 21 September 2017 at 2:21pm BST

Dear Perry Butler, there you have the advantage of me as I know the name of Dean Addleshaw but I know nothing about him. I must google him to discover more. Mentioning Owen Chadwick, his sister-in-law, the widow of his brother Henry was present at a service in my church earlier in the year and she most kindly gave me a gift of her husband's book on St. Augustine of Hippo, which I shall treasure.
I'm sure you know of Trevor Beeson's book on The Deans which includes chapters on such figures as White Benson of Truro, Inge of St. Paul's, Hussey of Chichester and Carpenter of Westminster. In those days spiritual giants occupied the Deaneries of this land.

Dear Tim S, I am sorry to learn of your ill health and I wish you well for your future ministry. Like you I would hope for success for the future of Peterborough cathedral after a most distressing chapter but I fear that whoever is chosen as the next dean of that Midlands cathedral will have a hard furrow to plough but whoever that person may be, I wish them well.

Posted by: Father David on Thursday, 21 September 2017 at 4:07pm BST

Dear Perry, I don't want to indulge in a nostalgia trip, but it was uplifting to be reminded by you of Dean Addleshaw, whose short book, The High Church Tradition, should be compulsory reading for those in formation for ordination.

Like Fr David, I fear that the learned and devout Deans of a former generation (and let's include the great Richard Church of St Paul's) attract little attention or respect in the C of E now. Not long ago I proposed to Canterbury Press a selection from the published and unpublished writings of Eric Milner-White. I received a dismissive reply.

Posted by: Barry on Saturday, 23 September 2017 at 2:35pm BST

Dear Barry, There was a conference in York last year organised by Dr Alan Warren formerly Provost of Vanbrugh College on Dean Milner White. I alas couldn't go, although invited. I don't know if there are plans to publish what took place.Perhaps you should make contact with Dr Warren.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Saturday, 23 September 2017 at 4:15pm BST

Eric Milner-White's devotional book - "My God, My Glory" is a constant source of inspiration.

Posted by: Father David on Monday, 25 September 2017 at 7:11am BST
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