Dean David appointed as new Dean of Canterbury

Her Late Majesty The Queen approved the nomination of The Very Revd Dr David Monteith, Dean of Leicester, for election as Dean of Canterbury and his appointment has been announced today (11 October).

Dean David, who is also the Chair of the College of Deans of the Church of England, will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral at 3pm on Saturday 17 December. 

•   He will lead his last Leicester Cathedral service as Dean of Leicester at St Martins House, Leicester, at 10.30am on Sunday 27 November 

•   A Farewell Evensong Service will be held at St Mary de Castro Church in Leicester at 7pm on Sunday 27 November 

Further details of all these services will be publicised nearer the time.

Leicester Cathedral’s Canon Missioner and Sub-Dean, the Revd Canon Karen Rooms, has been announced as Acting Dean of Leicester for the interim period before a new permanent appointment is made. She will lead the Cathedral community through the current period of change whilst the building remains closed for the ongoing Leicester Cathedral Revealed work into autumn 2023.

The Bishop of Leicester has said that Dean David has had a distinguished ministry and would be greatly missed but will go with ‘our love and prayers.’ 

David has overseen significant development and growth enabling Leicester Cathedral to become ‘a beating heart’ for one of the most diverse cities and counties in England.  

His ministry has included the reinterment of King Richard III and the current major redevelopment project ‘Leicester Cathedral Revealed’ which secures and equips the cathedral for worship, witness and welcome for the next 100 years.  

He first served in Leicester as Canon Chancellor and then as Acting Archdeacon of Leicester before becoming Dean in 2013. His ministry in Leicester beyond the Cathedral has included chairing the St Philip’s Centre helping diverse faiths and cultural communities to live well together and chairing the Bishop’s Rural Commission entitled ‘Deep wells and green pastures’.

David shares his life in a Civil Partnership with David Hamilton, a counselling therapist working in palliative and bereavement care. 

Commenting on his new appointment, Dean David said:
“I am overjoyed and humbled to be entrusted with this opportunity for learning and service. Canterbury Cathedral has played a vital part in our Christian story in England but it is also much loved by so many communities across the Anglican Communion. So, I already can see there is much to steward and much to imagine anew as our context reshapes. I have been a priest for many years but I also bring my experience of growing up in the Church of Ireland during the Northern Irish ‘Troubles’.  

“I’m looking forward to working with Archbishop Justin, Bishop Rose, the Cathedral Chapter and her communities to ensure our worship inspires, our prayer undergirds, our outreach transforms us and others, and our witness reveals more of God’s expansive Kingdom of love, mercy and peace.  I hope hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ and profound openness to the entire wider community will mark all we offer especially as we face this challenging time of rising costs and human hardship. 
“My partner, David, and I have had a place in Whitstable for over 20 years and so we already know Kent well. We are both looking forward to getting to know further the varied communities of the county as well as getting to the seaside more often.”

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said:
“I’m delighted by David’s appointment as Dean of Canterbury. He has been an exceptional Dean of Leicester – and his deep faith and spirituality, creativity, and profound sense of service will be a gift to Canterbury Cathedral and all the communities it serves.
“This is a time of hardship, suffering and anxiety for many in this country and worldwide. For over 1,400 years Canterbury Cathedral has been a house of prayer where God is worshipped, the good news of Jesus Christ is proclaimed, and the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with love that overflows to the world around us. I am sure that David will build on the extraordinary ministry of Dean Robert, and continue to develop this is new ways for our twenty-first century world.
“We will benefit greatly from David’s experience and perspective, not least from his work in helping diverse faiths and cultural communities to live well together. I share his vision of a Canterbury Cathedral that blesses and serves the people of Canterbury, the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion. I look forward to working with David and I join many in praying for him over the coming months.”

The Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop of Dover said:
“It is a delight to welcome David to Canterbury. During his time as Dean of Leicester, David has shown himself to be a person of deep faith and vision, creative and collegiate in his approach. We’re looking forward to having David as part of our diocesan family, and excited for all that he will bring to our mission and ministry in Canterbury and beyond.”

The Rt Revd Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester, said: 
“David has exercised a long and distinguished ministry in Leicester. Most notably he oversaw the re-interment of King Richard III which transformed a small cathedral into a major tourist destination. He has played an active role in interfaith work in the city and chaired a Rural Commission which helped us re-examine the way we support rural churches and communities. He will be greatly missed by the diocese, but he goes with our love and prayers.”

The Very Revd Jane Hedges, Acting Dean of Canterbury, said:
“We, as members of the Cathedral Chapter are delighted to receive the news of the appointment of the Very Revd David Monteith as our new Dean here at Canterbury. David will bring a huge range of skills and experience with him as well as a passion for building up the life of the Cathedral and enabling it to live out the gospel and reach out to the wider world. We very much look forward to working with David, together serving the life of our city and county and, in partnership with Archbishop Justin and Bishop Rose, supporting the clergy and people of our diocese and of the Anglican Communion.

“David and his partner David can be assured of a very warm welcome when he is installed as Dean of Canterbury in December.”

As Acting Dean, Revd Canon Karen Rooms said:
“I am delighted be taking on this role with such a great Cathedral team. It’s already a time of transition for us as we journey through the Leicester Cathedral Revealed project, so we are well-placed to continue to be resilient and adjust to change.

“It’s exciting to be able to take forward the significant legacy of welcome, worship and witness that Dean David has given us. We wish him every success in his new role as we continue to build for the future here at the heart of Leicester and Leicestershire.” 

As Canon Missioner at Leicester Cathedral, Karen seeks to engage visitors in issues of social justice and continues to work across faiths through broad based community organising, and as Chair of Trustee of Citizens UK. She is also the Women’s Ministry Enabler for the Diocese of Leicester and Priest-in-Charge at St Nicholas Church, Leicester.

David grew up in Co. Fermanagh Northern Ireland. He was educated at St John’s College, Durham, and trained for ministry at St John’s College, Nottingham. He served his title at All Saints’, Kings Heath, in the Diocese of Birmingham, and was ordained Priest in 1994. 

In 1997, David was appointed Curate at St Martin-in-the-Fields, in the Diocese of London, and in 2000 he became Associate Vicar. From 2002, David served as Priest-in-Charge at Holy Trinity, Wimbledon, in the Diocese of Southwark, additionally serving as Area Dean of Merton from 2004. 

In 2009, he was appointed Team Rector for Merton Priory Team Ministry and additionally went on to serve as Canon Chancellor of Leicester Cathedral. He took up his current role as Dean of Leicester in 2013. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2016 from the University of Leicester which acknowledges his role in the community including overseeing the re-interment of King Richard III in Leicester Cathedral in 2015.

As Dean of Leicester, David has chaired the St Philip’s Centre for Interfaith Dialogue and led and chaired the Bishop of Leicester’s Rural Commission. He currently chairs the Church of England College of Deans.

Caption: The Very Revd David Monteith at Leicester Cathedral.

Caption: Canon Karen Rooms, who is to be Acting Dean of Leicester Cathedral:


Dean David in Canterbury Cloisters. Image credit: Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral. Image by Tim Stubbings Photography.
Photo below caption: The new Dean of Canterbury, The Very Reverend Dr David Monteith (left), shares his life in a Civil Partnership with David Hamilton (right), a counselling therapist working in palliative and bereavement care. Image credit: Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral. Image by Tim Stubbings Photography.

First published on: 11th October 2022
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