Archdeacon of Leicester announced as new Dean of Chester


The new Dean of Chester is to be the Venerable Tim Stratford, currently Archdeacon of Leicester. Tim is a highly experienced and respected priest, who is a published author, holds a doctorate and has strong connections to the North West.


Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, said: “Tim has been a great servant of the churches of Leicestershire for the past six years. I am deeply grateful for all that he has contributed as Archdeacon of Leicester, particularly in his care for clergy and their families and his passion for Christian service of those who are vulnerable and in need. I am delighted for him and the people of Chester that he is now to serve and lead their great Cathedral.”


Tim grew up in Liverpool and started his working life as a qualified electronic engineer for Lucas CAV in its Research and Development section. He studied theology at Oxford and was ordained in 1986. He has significant experience of city and cathedral ministry from his time in Liverpool Diocese and through his work as Bishop David Sheppard’s Personal Chaplain. He has worked on some of Liverpool’s largest estates during his time as Rector of Kirkby and as a vicar in Norris Green. He has significant experience of urban and rural communities, diverse cultures and faith traditions gained while working in the Diocese of Leicester, where he holds his current post.


Tim said: “I am delighted to be joining the Cathedral and Diocese as Dean of Chester. When I was growing up in Liverpool, Chester was the historic city “over the water” where we could go for a treat and a day out. The opportunity to get to know the City and County of Cheshire from the inside and to make a difference will be a privilege.


“The Cathedral is a beautiful and historic building in the centre of the city that draws people to visit. But it is more than that too. It is a place where people can encounter the presence of God and get a sense of the things that ultimately matter beyond the here and now. I hope that over the years I serve as Dean the Cathedral will grow strong as a sign of our spiritual futures and heritage.


“I am deeply appreciative of all I have received from the church in Leicester and Leicestershire, especially my close colleagues on the Bishop’s Leadership Team and in the Diocesan Offices. It has been wonderful to join in with everything that the Spirit has been doing in a church that seeks to be shaped by God and is so bold in its mission,” said Tim.


The Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said: “Archdeacon Tim Stratford has had an outstanding ministry in a variety of posts. He will receive a warm welcome as he returns to the North West. The post of Dean will draw together his evident gifts in leadership, worship, pastoral care and administration. This is an exciting opportunity both for Tim, and for Chester Cathedral.”


Canon Jane Brooke, Acting Dean, said: “Speaking on behalf of the Cathedral I want to say how delighted we are that Tim will be the next Dean of Chester. Tim brings considerable knowledge and experience to the post and the Cathedral Clergy are looking forward very much to working with him.”


Tim will take up his new role and be installed as the Dean of Chester on 8th September. He has written about his new appointment on his personal blog which you can see by clicking here.

First published on: 1st August 2019
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