New Dean will bring ‘fresh thinking and innovation’

The Rev Canon Simon Cowling at Wakefield Cathedral   fri 18th may 2018
The Rev Canon Simon Cowling at Wakefield Cathedral fri 18th may 2018

Canon Simon Cowling has been unveiled as the new Dean of Wakefield.

The current Rector of Bolton Abbey replaces Jonathan Greener, who was named Dean of Exeter last year. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, made the announcement, saying Canon Cowling had acquired “a reputation for innovative, creative, and fresh thinking”.

Canon Cowling was ordained in Ripon Cathedral as deacon in 1991 and priest in 1992, and served as a curate in Chapeltown and Far Headingley, Leeds, a vicar in Roundhay and at Sheffield Cathedral.

Wakefield is one of three cathedrals, alongside Bradford and Ripon, which serve the Diocese of Leeds.

At Bolton Abbey, he is credited with increasing the number of worshippers and visitors by half.

Born in Essex, his family moved to Huddersfield when he was two.

After completing a degree in classics at Cambridge,he spent six years teaching in the South-East, moving in 1988 with his wife and family to Lincoln for theological training.

He was ordained in Ripon Cathedral as deacon in 1991 and priest in 1992, and served as a curate in Chapeltown and Far Headingley, Leeds, a vicar in Roundhay and at Sheffield Cathedral.

He said: “It is a huge privilege to have been invited to become the next Dean of Wakefield and to join colleagues in the next phase ofthe cathedral’s journey.”

Bishop Baines said: “Simon has wide parochial and cathedral experience, and, working with good colleagues, he will bring significant gifts, knowledge and wisdom to the task of leading Wakefield Cathedral.”