New Dean is Installed

by Gerry Lynch last modified 10 Sep, 2018 11:22 AM

The Very Revd Nick Papadopulos is 81st Dean of Salisbury

Yesterday afternoon, Salisbury’s new Dean, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, made his way to the West Doors of Salisbury Cathedral dressed for the last time in the robes of Canterbury Cathedral.

After five years as Canon Treasurer in Canterbury, and still at this point the dean designate of Salisbury, Nicholas was accompanied by the Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, and his colleagues from Kent.

The Canterbury party was met at the Cathedral’s West End by colleagues from Salisbury Cathedral and, following a ceremonial exchange of robes, Nicholas was presented to the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, who welcomed him.

The ceremony, which took place during the Cathedral’s service of Evensong, began with the ‘Royal Letters Patent’ being read aloud, signalling the Queen’s approval of the appointment and authorisation for Nicholas to take up what is constitutionally a Crown appointment.

Over eighty members of the clergy including three visiting Deans and five Bishops of other Dioceses were among the congregation or in the procession.  Archbishop Justin Badi from South Sudan and the Dean of Riga, accompanied by group from the Deanery of Jūrmala, Latvia, were among those present.

Amongst the lay dignitaries were the Lord Lieutenants of Wiltshire and Dorset, the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, the Mayor of Salisbury, the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, the Mayor of Bournemouth, the Leader of Wiltshire Council and the Leader of Bournemouth Council. The Assistant Chief Constables of Wiltshire and Chief Constable of Dorset represented the police at the service.

As the installation ceremony got underway an Introit (or introduction) written for the occasion by Salisbury Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Halls, was sung by Salisbury Cathedral’s choir. The words were chosen by Dean Nicholas and were written by Richard Church, the twentieth century Kentish poet:

I caught my breath
In the chill splendour
And hush of night;
Bowed my heart
Before humanity transfigured,
Touched with immortality. 

The service also featured a hymn written for the occasion by the Dean of Canterbury. It celebrates holy places – such as Salisbury and Canterbury – and all that they offer those who visit them and the communities that they serve.

Standing below the Cathedral’s soaring Spire, the new Dean then swore the oaths of allegiance to the Queen and obedience to the Bishop.

The Deed of Institution, a legal document that passes on the Bishop's authority to the dean-designate to function as Dean and priest in the Cathedral and Diocese of Salisbury, was read aloud.

Dean Nicholas’ wife Heather and their son Barnaby and daughter Thea looked on as he was installed in his seat in the Quire of the Cathedral and preached his first sermon as Dean.

Read the Dean’s first sermon here.

Bishop Nicholas said, “Nick Papadopulos was warmly welcomed by the Cathedral and diocese. His commitment to this place as a house of prayer in service to the wider community is unwavering and his installation signals a new beginning for Salisbury Cathedral and the city after what has been a difficult year. That joy and optimism extends to Heather, Barnaby and Thea, who we hope will spend many happy years within this community.”

The new Dean of Salisbury added, “Becoming Dean of this ancient and beautiful Cathedral is an awesome responsibility. This place shaped my early ministry and taught me the power of worship and the value of a shared life of prayer. This Cathedral community sits at the heart of the city, just yards from the High Street – a place to gather, a place to relax, a place to study and a place to pray. It is a symbol of hope that is visible for miles around. I look forward to working with my colleagues, as well as with partners across the city, the counties and the Diocese to make a difference for the local community and all who visit this extraordinary place.”

The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos is the 81st Dean of Salisbury, an ancient role that can be traced back to the 12th Century and the original Salisbury Cathedral at Old Sarum. He has served previously in Salisbury, as Senior Chaplain and Press Officer to the then Bishop of Salisbury from 2002 to 2007, so his installation is something of a homecoming.

Dean Nicholas Papadopulos, aged 52, studied History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and Law at City University, London. He was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in 1990 and practised at the criminal Bar for seven years. He trained for ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and subsequently studied for his MA at King's College, London. He served his title as Assistant Curate at St Mark Portsea in the Diocese of Portsmouth from 1999 to 2002.

From 2002 to 2007 he was Senior Chaplain and Press Officer to the Bishop of Salisbury, and from 2007 to 2013 Vicar of Pimlico St Peter with Westminster Christ Church (St Peter’s Eaton Square) in the Diocese of London. Since 2013 he has been Canon Treasurer at Canterbury Cathedral and Director of Initial Ministerial Education in the Diocese of Canterbury.

Nicholas is married to Heather, and they have two teenage children. His interests include reading, history, poetry and novels, listening to music (of all sorts), cooking and going to the gym and walking. He is also interested in Cyprus and Palestine.

The Dean of Salisbury is the head of Chapter, Salisbury Cathedral’s governing body, responsible for the Cathedral fabric, worship, music, outreach, education, library and archives and visitors’ experience. Chapter is supported by an executive team led by the Executive Director and Chapter Clerk, Jackie Molnar, four Directors and a staff of approximately 90 people.

Alongside Chapter the Cathedral’s corporate body consists of the College of Canons and the Cathedral Council, both of which perform an advisory role and meet twice a year.

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