Seven new canons to be admitted to Salisbury Cathedral’s College of Canons

During Evensong on Tuesday 4 October, seven new canons are to be installed as members of Salisbury Cathedral’s College of Canons at the invitation of Bishop Stephen. 

The seven new canons – four non residentiary canons and three lay canons – are united in their strong sense of commitment to their community as priests, educators and, in one case, the military. The range and breadth of their experience is impressive. The Revd Nick Clarke, Area Dean of Weymouth and Portland, began his working life in a secondary school teaching history. Gillian Clarke, Chair of Salisbury Diocese House of Laity, was a former Head of English and Visiting Tutor at Exeter University working with post-graduate trainee English teachers. Gillian joins as a lay canon. 

The Revd Rhona Floate - who takes up her ‘dream job’ as Team Rector Vale of Pewsey today - spent twenty years in the water industry and plant science research, while The Revd Craig Ryalls, Rector of the lively family church of St Paul's Church, Fisherton Anger, joined the ministry straight from Bristol University. During the pandemic Craig and his wife, Kim, fulfilled a long-term ambition to become foster carers, adding to their not insubstantial family of three! 

Formerly a Sarum Canon, Loretta Minghella is no stranger to the Cathedral. Now Master of Clare College, Cambridge, the former lawyer and Chief Executive of Christian Aid becomes a lay canon. The third of the lay canons is Sue Chandler. Like Loretta, Sue has a background in financial services and spent most of her working life training auditors for JPMorgan Chase. Sue is the Lay Chair of the Blackmore Vale Deanery and a Shillingstone Church warden. 

Last but by no means least, The Venerable Stephen Dunwoody became Archdeacon for the Army in April of this year and was appointed Assistant Chaplain General Army Recruitment and Initial Training Command and Land Warfare Centre. He is also on General Synod. 

The canons’ varied backgrounds and experience will be an asset to the College, which meets twice a year to provide feedback on policy decisions made by Chapter, the Cathedral’s governing body, and on Cathedral activities. 

The Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: “We are delighted to welcome our new canons, each of whom brings with them their particular insights and experience. In these challenging times it is vital that we work together; the Queen we have known for most of our lives has died; the international situation is troubled; and at home the current cost-of-living crisis makes it all the more important that our communities unite and care for one another.” 

The seven canons are the first to be installed since the new Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Revd Stephen Lake began his work in the Diocese. Speaking ahead of the service, Bishop Stephen said:

“I am delighted that the new canons have taken up the invitation to join the College of Canons. The College is part of the Cathedral’s extended family, drawing the Diocese and Cathedral together. That ‘togetherness’ is important, bringing certainty and confidence in uncertain times.” 

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