Governance

England’s cathedrals are ancient and in some ways unique bodies, steeped in past history. But they are also modern organisations seeking to make an important spiritual, social and cultural contribution in today’s world.

Winchester Cathedral’s governing body, Chapter, work as a team led by the Dean to agree strategy, foster strong community links, build excellent worship and welcome activities, and ensure we have sound buildings and finances.

The Dean and Chapter are supported in their task of directing and overseeing the affairs of the Cathedral by a range of oversight, advice and support structures.

Many of the people who contribute to our sound governance give us their time and expertise on a volunteer basis. The Dean and Chapter are deeply grateful for their support and guidance.

The Bishop of Winchester
The Bishop of Winchester leads the Diocese of Winchester, which covers most of Hampshire, east Dorset and the Channel Islands. The Bishop holds the role of Visitor at the Cathedral, where they have the principal seat (in Latin, cathedra). The Bishop plays a key role in advising, directing and supporting Chapter in its general direction and mission.

The Cathedral Council
The Council’s members are drawn from a wide variety of organisations, providing an important sounding board and source of expertise to the Dean and Chapter. Its role is to further and support the Cathedral’s spiritual, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical work. Its 14 members meet at least twice a year.

The College of Canons
The College of Canons brings together the experience and knowledge of ordained and lay clergy from the Cathedral and the Bishop’s office. It plays an important role in supporting the Cathedral’s mission and ministry in the wider Diocese of Winchester, and ensuring good governance. Its members meet three times a year.

Fabric Advisory Committee
Maintaining the fabric of our buildings is a vital and ongoing task that requires specialist knowledge. This group of experts advises Chapter on conservation issues and any alterations to buildings. At a national level, they answer to the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England, and liaise with English Heritage. It meets three times a year.

Finance and Investment Advisory Committee
This committee gives the Dean and Chapter expert advice on all Cathedral money matters, including finances and investments. It has up to 10 members, including members of Chapter and experts in the field, who meet three times a year.

Other bodies supporting Chapter:

Winchester Cathedral Enterprises Ltd (WCEL)
Our trading company is wholly owned by Chapter and manages all our commercial activities, including retail, box office, catering and events. It covenants all its taxable profits to support the mission and ministry of the Cathedral. Its Board of Directors meets six times a year.

The Cathedral Community
The Cathedral Community represents the Cathedral’s congregation, staff, volunteers and supporters. Membership is open to anyone aged over 16 who worships at the Cathedral, works for it or holds an office connected to it. Two members represent the Community’s voice on the Cathedral Council.