The Very Revd David Monteith was installed as Dean of Leicester at a service of installation and celebration at Leicester Cathedral on Saturday 18th May.
As Dean of Leicester, David will have oversight and leadership of the Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese which spans the city of Leicester and county of Leicestershire. The Cathedral is increasingly seen as a key institution in the life of the city and county, and David has indicated his desire for the Cathedral to lie at the heart of the civil and religious life of Leicestershire, offering generous hospitality and an imaginative witness to God’s love at the heart of our community. One of the first activities for David on taking up this new role will be to visit the offices and distribution centre of FareShare, one of the charities which the Cathedral and Diocese supports, to see the progress made towards helping the many who are short of food within our community at this time of welfare cuts and economic challenge. Perhaps the highest priority for David on taking up the role of Dean will be the planning of the events for the re-interment of King Richard III.
David Monteith knows Leicester well, as he has been part of the Cathedral for four years, having previously been the Canon Chancellor with responsibility for the pastoral and educational life of the Cathedral. As Dean he follows Vivienne Faull, who last year moved to be Dean of York.
During the service the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, gave his charge to David, the Diocese and the Cathedral and spoke of the Cathedral’s role in connecting us to the sacred, in working for the common good, and to be a place of pilgrimage. He said: ”Cities and counties and communities need different kinds of capital. Financial, social, educational capital are all necessary to human flourishing. But this Cathedral, and every Cathedral, exists to help build spiritual capital for the city and the county. Without it, economic recovery and the longed for financial growth will prove finally disappointing”.
Welcoming David to his new role the Bishop said: “Few Deans have been installed at a time of such great change in their Cathedral. We have discerned in you the gifts and qualities this challenge requires…May God bless you and work out His vision for this Cathedral and for us all in the ministry you are about to begin.”
The service included music sung in Irish reflecting David’s native origins. A new piece written by Dr Chris Johns, Director of Music at the Cathedral was also premiered, which set a poem by Robert Herryck, who is commemorated in the Cathedral and whose family home was on the site of the Greyfriars Friary where King Richard was buried. The Bishop and the new Dean then processed out of the Cathedral led by Dhol drummers, symbolising the diverse setting of faith and culture at the heart of our Diocese.