A NEW acting Dean has been appointed at Bradford Cathedral ahead of the Very Reverend Jerry Lepine's retirement next month. 

The Right Reverend Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, said Dean Jerry will retire on July 31 and the process for identifying his successor has now begun, but he is required to appoint an acting Dean for the duration of the vacancy.

He said: “Following consideration of options and discussion with interested parties, I have asked Canon Paul Maybury to take on this responsibility with the support of myself, the Deans of Ripon and Wakefield, and the cathedral community.

“In order to support this, I have also appointed Canon Philip Gray, latterly Vicar of St Margaret's, Ilkley, and Area Dean of South Craven and Wharfedale, to be acting Canon Precentor until a new Dean has been appointed and starts in post. This will be on a half-time basis.

“I am delighted that both have agreed to take on these responsibilities during a time of transition, and I look forward to working with them.

“The whole cathedral community is assured of my prayers and support during the months ahead.”

Canon Paul said: "We are very grateful to Dean Jerry for his leadership, and we will miss him and wish him well in all that the future holds.

“The Cathedral is in good heart, and I look forward to the role of 'Acting Dean' knowing that there is an existing strong team of staff, volunteers and congregation all working together."

Dean Jerry said: "I am very grateful to Bishop Nick for taking the decision to provide extra support to Canon Paul as Acting Dean during the vacancy. Canon Philip Gray is an experienced priest who will fill this role well.

“Please support and encourage Canon Paul and the team during the vacancy and be assured of my prayers for you all at this time of change.”

The retirement of Dean Jerry on July 31 will follow a civic and diocesan farewell on Sunday, July 4, and a congregational farewell on Sunday, July 11. More information about these services will follow soon.