The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, has today announced the names of two new Residentiary Canons to serve at Chichester Cathedral.
The Reverend Vanessa Baron is to be the new Canon Treasurer and the Reverend Dr Jack Dunn will serve as Canon Precentor.
As Canon Treasurer, Vanessa will have strategic responsibility for the care and interpretation of the Cathedral’s fabric and treasures.
Vanessa became the Associate Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Lyminster in 2017 and is a member of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches and Assistant Vocations Officer for the Diocese of Chichester. She read philosophy at London City University and has an MA in Mediaeval History. She trained as a deaconess at Ridley Hall reading Theology at Cambridge and was among the very first cohort of women to be ordained priest in the Diocese of London in 1994.
Vanessa succeeds Canon Stephen Ferns, Senior Chaplain to the Bishop, who has been appointed as an Honorary Canon. Vanessa said: “It is an immense privilege to be asked to take on this role. I'm particularly looking forward to working on the interpretation of the Cathedral, so that visitors and pilgrims might meet with Jesus Christ more easily when they come to the Cathedral.”
As Canon Precentor, Jack will be responsible for re-imagining this historic role in a manner that seeks to resource, in substantive new ways, the wider Diocese in its ministry and mission from the Cathedral. Working with others from across the Diocese, particularly with the Department for Apostolic Life, Jack will play a crucial ongoing role in enabling the Cathedral to help the whole people of God to grow in the knowledge and love of God, in evangelistic witness, in transforming the unjust structures of society and in the collective striving to safeguard the integrity of creation.
Before ordination Jack worked for an Investment Bank. Jack joined the Diocese of Chichester as a part-time Parish Development Officer and Bishop’s Adviser for Vocations. He has previously served as House for Duty priest in Leytonstone and as a full-time incumbent in Wanstead, East London. Previously, he was the first Chaplain and Welfare Officer at Lincoln College, Oxford after serving as Curate in Chelsea, west London.
Jack said today: ‘'I am delighted and humbled to have been invited to take on this newly re-imagined role. I feel privileged to be able to focus from our Cathedral on the whole people of God within the Diocese, as we seek under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to grow in mission and evangelism, so that more and different people may come to know, love and follow Jesus.”
Both Canons will play a leading part in the delivery of the Cathedral’s new Vision. Members of the public will be invited to contribute their views of the proposed vision from July 2021, ultimately informing its formal publication in January 2022. Further details will be shared on the Cathedral’s website shortly.
The Bishop of Chichester, Dr Martin Warner, said: “We have been very blessed by God in the appointment of these two people to serve the cathedral and diocese. They bring different but complementary gifts and experience, together with a commitment to the common life of the cathedral’s Chapter. They will draw deeply from the rich history of mission invested in the very stones of Chichester cathedral, and use it to challenge us in our witness today.”
The Dean of Chichester, The Very Reverend Stephen Waine, said: “We warmly welcome both Vanessa and Jack to the Cathedral community. We look forward to working closely with them, especially at this exciting time – as we prepare to share our proposed new vision leading to our 950th anniversary.”
Vanessa and Jack will be installed at the Cathedral at Evensong at 3.00 pm on Sunday 26 September, 2021.