Thinking Anglicans

Appointment of Dean of Chichester

Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office
There is more on the diocesan website.

Appointment of Dean of Chichester: 14 May 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings and Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough, both in the Diocese of Chichester, to be appointed as Dean of Chichester.

From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
Published 14 May 2024

The King has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Edward Dowler, Archdeacon of Hastings and Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough, both in the Diocese of Chichester, to be appointed as Dean of Chichester, in succession to The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, following his resignation.

Edward was educated at Christ Church Oxford and trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge, subsequently completing a doctorate at Durham University. He was ordained deacon in 1994, and served his title at Christ Church, Southgate, in the Diocese of London.

From 1997, he served as Assistant Curate of St Mary’s, Somers Town, London and in 2001 he was appointed Tutor and Director of Pastoral Theology, at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, where he served as Vice Principal from 2003 to 2009.

In 2010, he was appointed Vicar of St John and St Luke, Clay Hill, London, and from 2013, he additionally served as the Continuing Ministerial Education Officer for the Edmonton Episcopal Area and Chair of Governors at Bishop Stopford’s School, Enfield.

In 2016, he took up his current role as Archdeacon of Hastings in the Diocese of Chichester and, since 2020, has also been serving as Priest-in-Charge of St John the Evangelist, Crowborough. He is currently Chaplain to the High Sheriff of East Sussex.

Edward is married to Anna, a journalist for The Guardian, and they have two children at university.

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Francis James
Francis James
4 days ago

Simon Holland is a liberal & very pastoral Anglo-Catholic, who has done an excellent job in his short time as interim Dean, calming the waters, and actually listening to people. I am sure everyone wishes him well in his final parish before retirement. Edward Dowler is very high on the candle, like our Bishop, so his appointment will not exactly be regarded as great news by the women of Chi Dio. He was interviewed today by Sam Dixon-French on BBC radio Sussex for the Sarah Gorrell show (listen from about 1118 on https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_sussex ) where he showed that he needs… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Francis James
4 days ago

He certainly does need training in the use of radio.

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Francis James
4 days ago
Homeless Anglican
Homeless Anglican
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 days ago

This interview is sponsored by Mogadon.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Homeless Anglican
3 days ago

He sounded nervous, and has probably been beating himself up ever since the interview. I feel for him.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  Francis James
3 days ago

He certainly struggled with what was a comparatively easy ride from the interviewer. A more probing interview about women’s ministry, equal marriage and Bishop Bell would have left him floundering I suspect.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Fr Dean
3 days ago

I am sure all who post or administer TA are all media savvy, and therefore feel quite happy putting the boot in to someone struggling a bit.

Charles Read
Charles Read
Reply to  Ian
3 days ago

If you are going to hold this kind of public office you need to be media savvy. He will have done some media training as an archdeacon.

John S
John S
Reply to  Charles Read
3 days ago

I didn’t think it was that bad. The safeguarding answer was the worst, because, I suspect, he had been schooled into saying something supposedly safe and reassuring rather than honest and meaningful.

Marcus Collie
Marcus Collie
Reply to  Charles Read
2 days ago

He is not a politician, nor is he anything other than a clergyman of the Church of England.

If he is going to hold that kind of divine office he needs to be prayerful and willing to model a servant ministry as the Christ himself did.

‘Being media savvy’ is not, and surely should not be a requirement.

I would much rather have a colleague who bumbles along with faithful integrity than a managerialist.

David Lamming
David Lamming
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 days ago

Having just listened to the interview on BBC Sounds it wasn’t a ‘car crash’ as some media interviews with prominent people have been. Dr Dowler was nervous, but that was understandable. At least it wasn’t an obviously PR driven ‘performance.’ And I don’t suppose that the interviewer knew much about the issues of women’s ministry, so-called ‘equal’ marriage, or the Bishop George Bell saga to be able to ask an intelligent (let alone probing) question about any of them.

Fr Dean
Fr Dean
Reply to  David Lamming
2 days ago

He struggled with his hobbies. He came up with “stews” as an example of his culinary skills and had to think for a while about his love of reading. The worst television interview I saw was with Bishop Stephen Conway when he was the Bishop of Ely on BBC Look East. I seem to remember he was being interviewed by their anchor Susie Fowler-Watt. He struggled with a slight delay on the line and he was slumped in a low armchair which gave him the appearance of having six chins. My parishioners were unimpressed the next day and wondered if… Read more »

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Fr Dean
2 days ago

As someone (though I say it myself) who is a very good cook, I can confirm that stews and slow cooking can be very fine indeed! OK,give them a posh french name if you like, I do, but ‘ a rose by any other name ‘ as old Bill the poet used to say. And, BTW,if your parishioners were muttering over their buttered toast about the height of the bishops armchair and the number of chins he had,then all I can say is they should have better things to do with their time!

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
Reply to  Francis James
3 days ago

I agree. Simon got us to a very good place in just a year.

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
3 days ago

Interesting that the interviewer asked about safeguarding. Chichester’s record is one aspect of church life that journalists are aware of.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Simon Bravery
3 days ago

Local journalists are always up to speed on local issues, and one should not assume they are a pushover compared to national level journalists, as Liz Truss found to her cost.

Richard Ashby
Richard Ashby
3 days ago

It’s all my fault. When being interviewed about what we were looking for in a Dean I forgot to add that he must have a cat! Sorry.

Francis James
Francis James
3 days ago

I may say that I found it remarkable that the Radio Sussex interviewer failed to ask even one serious follow-up on safeguarding after the Dean waffled away on the soft general question. Doubt that he will be so lucky next time.

Realist
Realist
2 days ago

The poor performance on radio is such a shame, as my path has crossed that of Dr Dowler in the past, and my strong impression of him (as something of a cynic when it comes to so-called senior clergy) was of a good man, who genuinely cared about the clergy on his patch and wanted the best for them. Admittedly, I have only dealt with him over one issue, but it was one that would have ended very differently for the priest concerned under many of the archdeacons I have dealt with over the years. Hopefully he will grow into… Read more »

Neil J
Neil J
2 days ago

married to a Guardian journalist… is this the 2024 CofE equivalent to Yes Prime Minister: he has an eminently suitable wife!

Simon Reynolds
Simon Reynolds
1 day ago

Manifestly, the armchair comms consultants have been hard at work on this thread! I’m rather relieved that Chichester is welcoming a new Dean who doesn’t hide his humanity behind a heavy veil of slick media techniques. There’s enough of that, fuelling avoidance and bluster, in the Church of England as it is. It should be a cause for rejoicing that Chichester is welcoming a scholar and pastor (as Lincoln is), who is not a rent-a-quote who will do the media’s bidding at every turn; but brings considerable insight and intelligence to the role of emergizing a community for mission and… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Simon Reynolds
19 hours ago

Why Francis James imagines that women in Chichester Diocese will not regard this appointment as good news is a mystery to me.” You cannot be serious.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Francis James
18 hours ago

It was perfectly clear from the first post that it was the new deans traditional catholic stance,”high up the candle” as it was put,that you were against, bemoan ing the departure of the liberal catholic acting dean.Perhaps if you stopped there and didn’t go into attacking his abilities as a communicator it wouldn”t have seemed like it was an ad hominem attack.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Ian
4 hours ago

If I understand you correctly merely mentioning someone’s churchmanship amounts to a personal attack (ad hominem to those who like Latin tags). Actually as regards high church I rather enjoy the ritual (when it is done well), and it is far more my cup of tea than happy clappy. What sticks in my throat is their attitude to female priests, particularly in Chi Dio where we live with toxic misogynist legacy of the late Eric Kemp. On that note it is of interest that a very recent survey of CofE Diocese Websites and Safeguarding Posters has revealed that as regards… Read more »

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Francis James
3 hours ago

You have completely missed my point. I said if you had only criticised the trad cath views, including views on womens ordination, then fine. It was having a go at him for a struggling interview which in later post you described as waffle, that I thought as playing the man,not the ball.

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Ian
2 hours ago

Failure to provide a solid answer to a very soft question on safeguarding is open to criticism. After all everyone knows that Chi Dio has an appalling track record for safeguarding, so a question on the subject was bound to come up. Nothing personal about that. 

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Ian
2 hours ago

By the way I did not ‘bemoan’ the departure of the interim dean. What I did do was pay tribute to his performance in what must have been a very challenging & rather thankless job. By contrast the Dio seems to be air-brushing him out of the picture.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Simon Reynolds
8 hours ago

Does anyone know what his views on the ordination of women are?

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Janet Fife
4 hours ago

He does not accept communion from female priests.

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