Dean of Worcester to retire after 16 years in post - The Worcester Observer

Dean of Worcester to retire after 16 years in post

Worcester Editorial 17th Aug, 2023   0

THE DEAN of Worcester, the Very Rev Peter Atkinson, will officially retire on Friday, August 25 after more than 16 years in the post.

Rev Atkinson, who has been a priest in the Church of England for 43 years, had his resignation accepted by Queen Elizabeth II in one of her final official acts before her death last September.

A special Evensong will be held at Worcester Cathedral at 4pm on Sunday, September 10, to mark the Dean’s retirement, with all welcome to attend.

The Vice-Dean of Worcester, Canon Stephen Edwards, has been appointed in the role until a full-time replacement is appointed.

Born and raised in Kent, the Reverend studied in Oxford, Cambridge, and Rome, before he was ordained deacon in 1979, and priest in 1980.

After several other roles across the country, he was installed as Dean of Worcester in 2007.




In retirement, he will be moving to Kirkbymoorside in North Yorkshire with his wife Lynne, who he married in 1983 and had three children and three grandchildren with.

Highlights of his time as Dean have included overseeing the completion of a major restoration in the Cathedral and the unveiling of a plaque by The Queen on her Diamond Jubilee visit.


One of the biggest projects was the award-winning conversion of the medieval Undercroft to become a centre for the Cathedral’s learning programme and wider community use.

He has also been known for playing a role in the annual Shakespeare production at the Cathedral, which ran for a decade.

And in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Worcester.

Rev Atkinson said: “To have been Dean of Worcester has been the great privilege of my life.

“My family and I have lived in the centre of an historic city, and at the heart of a beautiful county.

“I have had a small share in the custodianship of one of England’s great cathedrals and been surrounded by a wonderful team of people.

“I thank God for all that I have learnt during my time here, and I will continue to pray for the Cathedral under the leadership of a new Dean.”

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