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The Next Dean of Newcastle

We’re delighted to share the news that the Revd Canon Lee Batson has been appointed as the next Dean of Newcastle. The announcement was made at the Cathedral by the Bishop of Newcastle on the afternoon of Friday 14 July 2023.

About the Dean Designate

Lee is currently Team Rector of the Epping Team Ministry, as well as Area Dean and World Church Partnership Officer in Chelmsford Diocese, where he developed a strong connection with the Anglican Church in Kenya. He also serves on the Diocesan Board of Education and is Chair of a large Multi-Academy Trust.

Commenting on his appointment, the Dean Designate said:

“I am humbled and delighted to have been appointed as the next Dean of Newcastle, and am looking forward to working with Bishop Helen-Ann, Cathedral Chapter, Bishop’s Staff Team and colleagues in Newcastle Cathedral and Diocese as we seek to further God’s mission in our communities – not least by becoming ever more outward facing, younger and more diverse.

“This is an exciting time to be joining the Cathedral and Diocese. The Cathedral has recently completed its own refurbishment, which has already opened up new opportunities for it to engage with the City and beyond.

“Whilst I am new to the North East, I already feel a sense of connection with the core values of the Cathedral as a place of radical welcome which, through offering inspiring worship and other activities, seeks to empower worth. I look forward to playing my part in building on all that has already been done to make these values a reality – particularly through the Lantern Initiative and partnership with the Oswin Project.

“I give thanks to God for all the blessings I have received as a priest in the Diocese of Chelmsford, and am grateful to God for the call to continue my ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle.”

Welcoming the Dean Designate, the Bishop of Newcastle, The Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, said:

“I am absolutely delighted that God has called Lee to Newcastle and thrilled that Lee emerged as the unanimous candidate of the appointment panel during our discernment process.

“Lee brings tremendous energy and gifts to his new role and a commitment to the mission and ministry of God in a Cathedral context as it relates to the city and to our whole Diocese.

“I am very much looking forward to Lee arriving in the autumn and to welcoming him to our wonderful region!”

Interim Dean, the Very Revd Dr Jane Hedges, spoke of the appointment, saying:

“The Chapter, staff and congregation of the Cathedral are delighted to hear of the appointment of Lee as the new Dean and very much look forward to welcoming him and to working with him as we serve this great city and Diocese.

“We are at a very exciting time in the life of the Cathedral as we build upon what has been achieved in the past, and more recently through the completion of the ‘Common Ground in Sacred Space’ project.

“As we look to the future, we trust that the Cathedral will continue to be a place of radical welcome, of inspiring worship and where everyone is valued and can thrive.”

Lee is married to Stephanie and, in his spare time, enjoys watching cricket and baseball, attending music concerts and exploring the world of wine!

You can find more photos from the announcement celebration in this Newcastle Diocese Flickr album.

An installation service where the Revd Canon Lee Batson will formally become Dean is to take place at Newcastle Cathedral on Saturday 14 October at 3pm.