Downing Street has announced that The Queen has approved the appointment of the Revd Canon Tim Sledge as Dean of Peterborough.
Canon Sledge is currently Vicar of Romsey in the Diocese of Winchester, a post he has held since 2008. Before that he spent five years as Mission Enabler in the Diocese of Peterborough.
As Vicar of Romsey Canon Sledge is responsible for Romsey Abbey, which was originally founded as a Benedictine nunnery in 1000AD and is the largest parish church in Hampshire. Under his leadership the Abbey has succeeded in reversing a substantial annual deficit and growing both its congregation and its visitor numbers.
Tim, who trained as a musician, has contributed to several books on mission, in particular on faith and worship amongst young people. He chairs the Church of England’s Young Vocations Strategy Group and is part of the nationally recognised Leading Your Church Into Growth team.
During his time at Romsey Abbey, Canon Sledge led a seven year development plan. This focused on growing the church’s work with young families and on discipleship, spirituality, community work and the creative use of buildings and heritage. He also worked with the local authority and other partners in Romsey to set up a consortium to promote the town as a visitor destination. This has resulted in a 15% increase in visitor numbers.
Tim has established a link between the Abbey and the Anglican Province of Burundi and has made several visits there with members of the congregation. He is Chaplain to the Mayors of Romsey and Test Valley, and to the Scouts and the Royal British Legion. He is also a co-founder of Triangulate, a local mental health charity, and Romsey Abbey is currently the only parish church in the country to be Mindful Employer. See below for a fuller biography.
The new Dean joins Peterborough Cathedral at an exciting time as it approaches the celebration of its 900th anniversary in 2018 and emerges from a period of cash flow difficulties with a robust business plan in place.
Canon Tim Sledge said:
“It is a great privilege to be invited to take up this role and I am very much looking forward to leading Peterborough Cathedral into a new phase of its life. For too long the Cathedral has been in the news because of its financial problems and this has obscured the good work it has done, and continues to do, in ministering to the wider community. I shall be working with the Chapter and staff to help the Cathedral meet its financial targets and doing all I can to ensure that the Cathedral becomes a good news story, in every sense, for the city and the diocese.”
The Rt Revd Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, said:
“I am delighted at Tim Sledge’s appointment as Dean of Peterborough. He holds the values and traditions of Cathedral life and worship, while at the same time having a passion for mission and for leading people to faith in Jesus Christ.
“His time at Romsey Abbey, and before that in this diocese, have shown his faithfulness to our core beliefs and values, and his effectiveness in mission. I am very much looking forward to welcoming him, and to working with him.”
The Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, added:
“Tim’s contribution to Romsey and the wider community here has been exceptional. Under his wise and good-humoured leadership the Abbey has grown from strength to strength, developing its mission with passion, confidence and friendship.
“We will all be very sorry to see Tim go, and I know he will be especially missed by the community at Romsey. But I am filled with hope and encouragement for the future of Peterborough Cathedral, which I am sure will thrive with the help of Tim’s judicious and prayerful stewardship.
“I wish Tim every success on his return to Peterborough, and I want to thank him on behalf of the whole Diocese of Winchester for everything he has done during his nine fruitful years with us.”
The Revd Canon Jonathan Baker, Acting Dean of Peterborough, said:
“I welcome the news that Tim Sledge is to be the next Dean of Peterborough. Tim’s experience and clear focus on mission are exactly what the Cathedral community needs at this time and I am looking forward to our ministry developing with confidence and vigour with his leadership.”
Canon Tim Sledge succeeds the Very Revd Charles Taylor who retired in October 2016.
It is expected that his installation service will be held at 3.30pm on Sunday 15 October 2017.