26 September 2018

New Dean of Wakefield to ring Cathedral bells – watched by his very first Sunday School Teacher.

The new Dean of Wakefield will ring the bells of Wakefield Cathedral himself on Saturday 29 September to mark the start of his ministry to the city and beyond.
The Revd Canon Simon Cowling will be installed as the third Dean of Wakefield supported by a congregation representing the city, the church and the region - including the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, friends from his former parishes - and his very first Sunday School teacher.
He takes up the post after five years as the Rector of Bolton Abbey and is looking forward to contributing to the renewed sense of confidence in the city.
“Ringing the Cathedral bells to signify the start of my ministry is a visible message to those in the Cathedral and an audible message to those in the city and beyond.
“It is important to remind people that Wakefield Cathedral is at the heart of the city and we are connected to everyone’s lives – not just those who come to church.
“Wakefield is emerging; recreating itself around its culture and its education, and I am looking forward to the Cathedral being at the heart of this renewed sense of confidence,’ he said.
The Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Leeds, said:
“Wakefield Cathedral plays a crucial role in the city and under Simon’s leadership, with his wide parochial and cathedral experience, and working with good colleagues, I am confident its Christian work and worship, and its role as a cultural and spiritual hub, will be further nurtured and developed.”
Simon was brought up in Huddersfield and went to Sunday School at St Barnabas’ Church, Crosland Moor and his first Sunday School teacher, Janet Haigh, will be in the congregation at his installation.

She said: “I feel so proud that after teaching Simon at Sunday School that he has achieved so much in his ministry.

“Although it is over 50 years ago, I remember him well. Simon had an excellent attendance record. He was a lovely, polite and friendly child. The one thing I shall always remember about Simon was his ability to listen to two people at once. I would be telling a bible story when I noticed he was talking to his friend. I asked a question in relation to my reading, without fail he would answer correctly. I am sure this ability has stood him in good stead throughout his life.

“I wish him much joy and happiness as he begins his ministry at Wakefield
Cathedral,” she added.
Simon has a degree in Classics from Cambridge and was a teacher before training for ordination. He was ordained in Ripon Cathedral in 1991 and has served a variety of inner city, suburban, and rural parishes across Leeds and North Yorkshire as well as Precentor at Sheffield Cathedral. He is married with three grown up children.
Simon will be installed as the new Dean of Wakefield at a service in Wakefield Cathedral on Saturday 29 September at 3.30pm.

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