THE Dean of Bradford, the Very Reverend Jerry Lepine, will retire from his role in the summer.

Dean Jerry arrived at Bradford Cathedral in July 2013 and since then has built its reputation as a worship space and meeting place for all the city’s communities.

He said: “It has been such a privilege to lead the Cathedral and work with Bishop Nick and the other Deans of this Diocese.

“I will take with me some very special memories, such as being part of the creation of a new Diocese with its unique offer of three Cathedrals and our Cathedral Centenary Year in 2019.

“Welcome is a key word for this Cathedral. We work hard at it but this city is built on a history of welcome.

“From day one I have experienced such open-heartedness here. I will always remember that kindness. Both the Cathedral and the City will build its future on this strength and the partnerships that flow from it.

“The cathedral is in really good heart with a very able team doing some impressive work.

“It’s now time for someone else to have the pleasure of leading it into its next chapter.”

Further details of a farewell service at Bradford Cathedral will be announced at the beginning of July.

Tributes have been paid to the Dean of Bradford ahead of his departure.

Kersten England, Bradford Council’s chief executive, tweeted: “Dean Jerry will leave a Cathedral much restored and in good heart which plays a key role in the life of the City of Bradford.”

Standout musical events, community engagement and interfaith relations have been hallmarks of his eight-year tenure and Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said he will be greatly missed by all in Bradford and beyond.

Bishop Nick said: “I am very sorry to see Jerry leave Bradford Cathedral at this point, but wish him and Christine well in a well-earned retirement,” Bishop Nick said.

“Jerry has worked hard, often in challenging circumstances, to lead the Cathedral and create a unique set of relationships with bishops, sister cathedrals and the wider civic and diocesan space.

“We are all extremely grateful to him for his strong collegiality, deep commitment to church and society, his optimistic and hopeful contribution to all our work.

“His leadership during the last year of pandemic challenges – for which there was no script – has been outstanding.

“He will be greatly missed.”

Dean Jerry moved to Bradford in 2013 to take over from the acting Dean, the Reverend Canon Andy Williams, after being a priest in Nottingham.

The Cathedral had been without a permanent dean for 20 months since Dr David Ison left for St Paul’s in London.