‘This is an outstanding appointment’ – new Dean has been appointed to Sheffield Cathedral

A new dean has been appointed to Sheffield Cathedral.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 5:19 pm

Rev Canon Abigail Thompson was announced as the new Dean of Sheffield Cathedral today (June 29).

She has been in the Diocese of St Albans since February 2018, where she is currently the Acting Dean and Sub-Dean of St Albans Cathedral.

The Dean heads up the ministry of Sheffield Cathedral, and undertakes diocesan and civic duties in the city and across the wider area.

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Sheffield Cathedral.
Sheffield Cathedral.

Rt Rev Dr Pete Wilcox, Bishop of Sheffield, said: “I am delighted to welcome the Rev Canon Abi Thompson to be the next Dean of Sheffield.

“As those of us who know both her and who know the needs of the cathedral and diocese will immediately be able to see, Abi has exactly the blend of character and gifts to rise to the challenges and to make the most of the opportunities that we face.

“Having served previously in this diocese until 2018, Abi knows our local communities well, from Sheffield to Goole, from Rotherham to Barnsley. So, she will be able to hit the ground running.

“I look forward very much to the coming months and years, confident that Abi will greatly enrich us and will help us to mobilise the whole people of God still more effectively for the whole mission of God so that we can serve our city and region in the name of Jesus Christ and for the sake of the coming Kingdom of God. This is an outstanding appointment.”

Ms Thompson will be a familiar face to many in the Diocese of Sheffield; prior to her move to St Alban's, she was the vicar of St James, Clifton in Rotherham from 2010 to 2018.

She also served on the Bishop of Sheffield’s Senior Staff Team as the Dean of Women’s Ministry from 2015 to 2018.

Speaking ahead of the public announcement, she said: “Sheffield Cathedral is the place where I was ordained deacon in 2006, and I got married here in 2010.

“I’ve made vows here, I’ve wept into the stone floor, I’ve rejoiced here, and I’ve lit candles here for people I have loved and lost. I share these very personal connections with you because I know that I am only one of thousands of people who have experienced the deepest of emotions and sought sanctuary within these old walls.

“Sheffield Cathedral is a holy place because of the people who have come here to find peace, to pray, to worship and to seek the true and living God.

“I am blessed and honoured and totally thrilled that this is the place where I will soon daily say my prayers and get to love and serve the people of this great city, this wonderful Cathedral and the whole Diocese of Sheffield.”

Ms Thompson was ordained a priest in 2007, serving her curacy at Sheffield Manor Parish.

It is hoped that she will be installed to her new role in a service at Sheffield Cathedral in October 2021, with a date to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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