Dean Catherine’s Installation

February 1, 2017

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Saturday 11 February 2017, 3pm

11 February 2017 was the beginning of a new era when The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle was instituted by the Bishop and installed as the 38th Dean of Winchester at a service in Winchester Cathedral at 3pm.

Writing in Winchester Cathedral’s newsletter shortly after the announcement of her appointment, the Vice Dean & Canon Chancellor, Acting Dean of Winchester, Canon Roly Riem said “We have much to give thanks for in Dean Catherine’s appointment, not least her experience of six years as a dean in a multi-faith setting. This will be a great blessing to us as we reflect with her on how our Christian presence responds to the contemporary climate. Many who heard her speak briefly at the announcement of her appointment were impressed by her bearing and reassured by her speaking that the Cathedral will be in safe hands.”

The Installation service itself marked the formal beginning of The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle’s ministry as Dean of Winchester, in a service which follows, roughly, the shape of Evensong. The saying or singing of the Daily Office is the single most important element in the life of the Cathedral, and marks its existence as a worshipping community.  To present the new Dean’s Installation within this context is to make a positive statement about the priority given to the daily worship of God within the life of the Cathedral community as it ‘discovers and lives out the beauty of holiness’.

The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle is the former Dean of Birmingham Cathedral, a position which she held for six years. She will be Winchester Cathedral’s first female dean, bringing to the Cathedral and the Diocese her years of experience promoting the mission of the Church and reaching out to different communities and faiths.  At Birmingham she has pioneered engagement with parishes around the Diocese and forged connections with a range of institutions and charities across the city. Her work has also included innovative collaborations with local artists to promote engagement with communities across the city and with different faiths and she has also overseen Birmingham Cathedral embracing the use of social media. Over the course of the last six years, Dean Catherine has also led Birmingham’s Cathedral through the celebration of its 300th anniversary, overseeing major restoration works and leading fundraising efforts for major projects.

The Bishop of Winchester, The Rt Rev’d Tim Dakin, was delighted to be welcoming Dean Catherine to Winchester formally. “As Dean of Birmingham, Catherine has led the Cathedral with great wisdom, engaging with various challenges and repeatedly showing what a capable and effective leader she is. Her appointment as Dean of Winchester is an excellent one for the Cathedral, for the city and for the Diocese more broadly.

“Catherine’s focus and passion for mission makes her an ideal fit at a time when we are beginning to make Winchester a more mission-shaped Diocese. I am delighted by her appointment: Catherine will enrich Cathedral life with her many gifts and I look forward to working closely with her.”

Following a degree in textile and design at the University of Leeds, Dean Catherine trained at Westcott House, Cambridge, before being ordained at 27 as one of the UK’s first female priests.  She then served as a parish priest in West Yorkshire communities for 17 years, nine of those as Vicar of Huddersfield. During this time, she was seconded to BBC Radio Leeds where she worked as the Religious Affairs Editor.

Married with an adult son, Dean Catherine is keenly interested in the arts and in her spare time enjoys attending the theatre, painting, exercise and the company of family and friends.

The Very Rev’d Catherine Ogle, the next Dean of Winchester, said:
“I am very honoured to be the next Dean of Winchester. Cathedrals are wonderful places of prayer and mission, and people have prayed and sought inspiration in Winchester’s magnificent Benedictine foundation Cathedral for over a thousand years.

“Winchester Cathedral is a building of great national significance and I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead it. I look forward to focusing on mission in Winchester as well as across the whole Diocese, to working closely with the Bishop of Winchester, the Cathedral Chapter and to building upon all of the good work of my predecessor as Dean”.

She succeeds Dean Emeritus James Atwell, who retired in June last year.