27 May 2016
The Queen has approved the appointment of the Venerable Christine Wilson as Dean of Lincoln.
Christine (58) has been Archdeacon of Chesterfield in the Diocese of Derby since 2010, where she has developed and delivered strategies for mission, ministry, recruitment, finance and property, and led on a significant project in developing and reshaping the deaneries as a key strategic structure in the mission of the diocese.
Born and raised in Brighton, East Sussex, Christine worked in financial services before becoming a full-time mother of three daughters.
Prior to ordination Christine contributed to youth and children’s ministry within her local parish and the wider diocese for ten years. It was the tragedy of the death to cancer of a close friend – also a young mother – that led Christine to explore a vocation to the priesthood at the age of 34.
She trained on the Southern Diocese Ministerial Training Scheme while her daughters were studying for GCSEs and A-levels, and was ordained deacon in 1997, and priest in 1998. Christine served her title as curate of Henfield, Woodmancote and Shermanbury in the Diocese of Chichester.
In 2002, Christine was appointed Team Vicar of St John the Baptist, Hove – an inner-city parish whose church faced closure due to a dwindling, mainly elderly congregation and the challenge of building maintenance and a lack of funds. Within five years, the church had grown and diversified, a number of significant grants had been awarded for major building works, and the parish had developed an outward facing vision of welcome and hospitality to the wider community. Christine had a strong advocacy role and participated in a number of community development projects in partnership with various sectors within the city.
In 2008, Christine was appointed Vicar of St Mary and St Lawrence, Goring-by-Sea, and it was during this period that her middle daughter died from cancer. Within a year of being at Goring-by-Sea, she was recruited as Archdeacon of Chesterfield in 2010.
Christine is also a non-executive director of Ecclesiastical Insurance, and has held several national church posts, including membership of the General Synod, the Anglican Communion Indaba conversations that seek to energise mission and build the international community of Anglican Christians through respectful listening, one of the eight female participant observers on the House of Bishops, and as a vocations consultant and selector, helping to discern those who are to be recommended for ordination. Christine has also been a member of Derby Cathedral Council.
“I was thrilled, and a little daunted, to be offered the post of Dean of Lincoln,” said Christine.
“Recently I have begun to build associations with Lincoln, and the fabulous opportunity to lead a world-class cathedral in inspiring worship, ministry and mission is one that I will, with the help of God, and of the whole community, be delighted to undertake.”
Christine is married to Alan, a retired head of compliance for a division of an international bank. Christine is a keen gardener, particularly of organic vegetables. She also enjoys theatre and dance, making her own clothes and hosting parties.
Lord Taylor of Holbeach, who chaired the appointment panel on behalf of the Crown, said: “We were very conscious of the next phase of the life of Lincoln Cathedral when seeking an excellent candidate to be dean, and in Christine, we have found a person of faith, imagination, skill and wonderful humour: gifts that will be essential in guiding the cathedral on its continuing journey.”
Lord Taylor added: “Lincoln Cathedral stands as a beacon in the city and across very many miles of greater Lincolnshire, and under Christine’s leadership it will develop its reputation regionally, nationally and internationally for being a place of excellent worship, Christian development and of warm and generous hospitality.”
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: “I’m delighted that Christine has accepted the post of dean, and I know that she does so with the very firm conviction that God is calling her to minister in Lincoln Cathedral and in the diocese. Christine comes to us with a rare combination of gifts; she has spiritual depth, a heart for God’s Mission and significant leadership experience.
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, said: “Christine has made an outstanding contribution to the leadership of our Diocese. We shall miss her wisdom, energy and colleagueship. She will bring an impressive range of skills to this new opportunity.”
The Venerable Christine Wilson will be installed Dean at a special service on 22 October 2016, at 5.30pm, after which she will be styled The Very Revd Christine Wilson.