There was an air of celebration in Lincoln Cathedral on Saturday evening as people from around the Diocese of Lincoln and beyond gathered to greet the new Chancellor of Lincoln and also nine new members of the Cathedral’s College of Canons.

Prior to a special service of Choral Evensong, the Chancellor and Canons Designate, wearing their new blue cassocks for the first time, made the Declaration of Assent and swore the Oaths of Allegiance before Bishop Christopher and also family and friends in the beautiful setting of the Cathedral Chapter House.

As part of the main service, the Revd Dr Paul Overend was warmly welcomed as Chancellor of Lincoln, and Paul will now lead the Cathedral’s work of public theology and Christian education. Paul has previously served as an ecumenical university chaplain while studying for a doctorate in philosophical theology, and he later taught philosophy and ethics at Cardiff University and at Liverpool Hope University. Paul comes to Lincoln from Norwich, where he was the Lay Development Officer and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands, and also a tutor in spirituality and ethics with the Eastern Region Ministry Course.

The role of Chancellor is one of four residentiary canons at the Cathedral (Dean, Precentor, Chancellor and Subdean), with the other forty-nine canons made up of either clergy or lay people. The nine new canons have been appointed to fill vacant canonries, and they have been recognised in this way for their valued contribution to the life of the diocese and also the many gifts and skills they will bring to the College of Canons.

The Revd Philip Brent (Incumbent of Market Deeping and Rural Dean of Elloe West) will now occupy the seat of Nassington in the Cathedral, and in reflecting on the occasion he has said: “It was a very special day, and one I didn't expect. However, the whole service, plus the support of my family, my parish, my deanery and so many friends from around the diocese made it unforgettable in the most positive way.”

The other eight new canons are:

  • The Revd Edward Bowes-Smith – Incumbent of Lincoln St Peter-in-Eastgate

  • The Revd Dr Neil Burgess – Ministry Team Leader and Ministerial Development & Review Officer

  • The Revd Penny Green – Incumbent of The South Lawres Group and Barlings

  • The Revd Paul Noble – Incumbent of Skirbeck St Nicholas and Rural Dean of Holland

  • The Revd Charles Patrick – Rector of the Horncastle Group

  • Mrs Henrietta Reeve DL – Chair of Lincolnshire Historic Churches Trust and a churchwarden

  • Professor Muriel Robinson OBE, DL –Emeritus Professor and past Vice Chancellor, Bishop Grosseteste University

  • The Revd David Rowett – Incumbent of Barton on Humber, Horkstow, Saxby All Saints & South Ferriby.

Speaking about the service and this time of celebration, Bishop Christopher has said: “I am delighted to be able to acknowledge the contribution that these people have made to the life of our diocese, greater Lincolnshire and beyond. I know that their individual gifts and experience will help to further the ministry that is offered through our Cathedral to the whole diocese.”