Knotty Influence Demonstrated in Latest Senior Appointment
New Dean of Canterbury in Civil Partnership
The Very Revd David Monteith, Dean of Leicester has been appointed Dean of Canterbury. Monteith who is openly in a same-sex partnership with David Hamilton a counselling therapist specialising in bereavement care. The announcement was made on 10 October.
In his statement released upon the announcement of his appointment, the Monteith 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.”
Appointments of clergy with such commitments were openly expected after the hiring of Stephen Knott as the Senior Appointments Secretary to the Archbishops of Canterbury & York in January of this year. Knott, also from Northern Ireland, is in a same-sex marriage. Due to the Church of England’s prohibition of the action, Knott and his partner were married in Scotland where the Scottish Episcopal Church has no such prohibition.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who sees no contradiction in hiring a Senior Appointments Secretary in a relationship banned by the Church of England, remarked on Monteith’s appointment,
“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 in 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.”