The Venerable Dr Jane Hedges, Sub-Dean, Canon Steward and Archdeacon of Westminster, has been appointed Dean of Norwich. Canon Hedges will be installed at Norwich Cathedral on 21st June.
Canon Hedges said: ‘My move from Westminster Abbey to the Deanery of Norwich will be both exciting and challenging. Being here has taught me an enormous amount about all manner of things but especially about Benedictine spirituality and hospitality and so it is a great joy to be joining another community where the Benedictine principle of welcoming all people is at the heart of its life.
‘For us as a family it will in part be with a heavy heart that we leave, as these last eight years have been incredibly happy ones for us. We have loved living here and we are so fortunate to have been part of such a happy community. As Canon Steward I couldn’t have had better colleagues both within the Chapter and amongst the Abbey staff and volunteers.’
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘Jane Hedges has been a terrific colleague and made an enormous contribution at the Abbey in particular to the development of pilgrimage, to the relationship with the parishes of which the Dean and Chapter is patron and with Duty Chaplains, and to enhancing the experience of our visitors through substantial change in the role of our welcoming staff and volunteers.
‘She is a person of mature and steady faith who expresses Christian truth and the Christian story with great clarity not only in her words but also in her life. All Jane’s colleagues at the Abbey have much enjoyed our friendship with her and Chris and their family and we wish them every happiness and blessing in the future.’
The Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Jane Hedges to be Dean of Norwich and look forward greatly to working alongside her.
‘Jane has a wide experience in ministry in parishes, a cathedral and most recently at Westminster Abbey.
‘Jane is well known in the Church of England for the quality of her pastoral and teaching ministry. I am sure that she possesses the gifts we need at this stage in the life of Norwich Cathedral and the Appointment Panel was unanimous in wanting Jane to be our next Dean.’
Dr Jane Hedges was appointed Canon Steward at Westminster Abbey in January 2006 a role which involves overseeing the welcome of over one and a quarter million visitors and pilgrims each year and the Abbey’s ministry of hospitality. She is also Archdeacon of Westminster and is responsible for liaising with the 24 parishes of which the Abbey is Patron.
She will take charge of a cathedral founded in 1096 by the first Bishop of Norwich, Herbert de Losinga. It is the most complete Norman cathedral in England. Situated on the River Wensum at the heart of the oldest part of Norfolk’s capital city the cathedral, like Westminster Abbey, has its origins in a small Benedictine community.
The Director of Music at Norwich Cathedral is Ashley Grote – a former Assistant Organist at Westminster Abbey.