Dean to say good­bye af­ter decade in post

The Very Rev Charles Tay­lor will take his last ser­vice at Pe­ter­bor­ough Cathe­dral on Saturday

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Special Report - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

The Dean of Pe­ter­bor­ough will say a fond farewell to the city this week­end, as he takes his fi­nal ser­vice at the cathe­dral.

The Very Rev Charles Tay­lor has been the Dean since March 2007, but will step down fol­low­ing a ser­vice on Saturday.

He said: “At one level I am go­ing to be very sad to be leav­ing. I shall re­ally miss the won­der­ful peo­ple and com­mu­nity in which I live, not only in the cathe­dral but in the city, the dio­cese and the re­gion. That I shall greatly miss.

“The vi­sion I had for the cathe­dral asap lace of open­ness and in­clu­siv­ity is be­com­ing a real­ity, for ex­am­ple the new Vis­i­tor and Learn­ing Cen­tre is open and the new level ac­cess at the West Front is in place. Other key parts of the cap­i­tal pro­gramme are also fin­ish­ing: we have a new sound sys­tem, the re-pitch­ing of the or­gan is almost com­plete, and the new in­ter­pre­ta­tion will soon to be in­stalled in the cathe­dral.

“But sus­tain­abil­ity, not least in terms of gen­er­at­ing and man­ag­ing suf­fi­cient cash flow for day to­day op­er­a­tions, needs a dif­fer­ent lead­er­ship struc­ture. Fi­nan­cial ex­per­tise and busi­ness man­age­ment are not my par­tic­u­lar vo­ca­tional gifts, nor was I trained in such things, so the time has prob­a­bly ar­rived to hand over the reins to some­one more qual­i­fied than I in this field.”

The Very Rev Tay­lor said he would miss the city - and it has changed dra­mat­i­cally in the decade hehas spent here.

He said: “I re­mem­ber, in March2007, when the removal men left us sit­ting on a pile of boxes and we went into Cathe­dral Square hop­ing to find some­thing to eat. There was lit­tle to be had, ex­cept for Harriet’s tea room, and that closed at 4pm. The phys­i­cal and cul­tural trans­for­ma­tion of that par­tic­u­lar part of the city is quite as­tound­ing.

“There have also been very rapid de­mo­graphic changes which have brought their own chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties to the city. Clearly the cathe­dral, as the vis­i­ble icon of Pe­ter­bor­ough has had, and still has, a great part to play in pro­mot­ing co­he­sion and bring­ing peo­ple to­gether through doors which are open to peo­ple of all faiths and none.

“An­other re­mark­able change has been the cathe­dral’s part­ner­ship with the busi­ness com­mu­nity in rais­ing the pro­file of Pe­ter­bor­ough lo­cally, re­gion­ally and be­yond. While some cathe -drals have four or five, or per­haps half a dozen lo­cal busi­nesses signed up as cor­po­rate part­ners, Pe­ter­bor­ough is I think unique in hav­ing 100 en­ter­prises work­ing to­gether, as the prophet Jeremiah said, “to seek the wel­fare of the city”.

He is now look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture, and spend­ing time with his fam­ily.

He said: “In a sense, as a priest you never re­tire. It will take us a cou­ple of months to pack up the Dean­ery, which is the largest house we’ve ever had to equip. Wher­ever we go, it is likely that we will need to down­size. This time will also al­low us to make some de­ci­sions about where we want to set­tle. We have a daugh­ter in Northum­ber­land, a son in Lon­don, a 95 year old father in the West Mid­lands and a 95 year old father-in­law in Hamp­shire. We will de­cide where we are most of use and of­fer to help out with lo­cal church min­istry in that re­gion.”

I shall re­ally miss the won­der­ful peo­ple and com­mu­nity ‘The vi­sion I had for the cathe­dral as a place of open­ness is be­com­ing a real­ity’

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