A film buff with a passion for Bladerunner, a PhD on a little known philosopher and a Classical education might not be the profile you’d expect of the person employed to oversee the fabric at a major English Cathedral.
But Canon Dr. Robert Titley, the newly appointed Salisbury Cathedral Treasurer, is no stranger to project planning, architects and ecclesiastical building repair. As the vicar of All Saints in Dulwich he managed what was said to be the largest parish building project since World War II, following a fire that ravaged the historic building, leaving only its huge Victorian walls standing and the church open to the elements.
In his role as Canon Treasurer, Robert will work closely with the Cathedral Architect and the Clerk of Works and Fabric department, ensuring the care and maintenance of the Cathedral, taking responsibility for the delivery of future development plans. He arrives as the Cathedral enters the final stage of its thirty-year Major Repair programme.
Robert has previously had a role at Southwark Cathedral and for the last five years has served as Team Rector in Richmond, overseeing three churches, a role that has kept him very much embedded in his community, so he will be saying goodbye to many good friends as he sets out for pastures new.
Said Canon Dr. Robert Titley:
“I am sad to be leaving my current job but excited to be joining the Cathedral at this particular time, when we are within touching distance of completing the Major Repair Programme. With three decades of experience behind it, the Cathedral Works department has a huge body of expertise to draw upon and I am looking forward to the challenge of planning and preparing for the next fifty years.
“It will be a wrench leaving Richmond because as a parish priest you grow close to your community, sharing important moments in the lives of many people. However, this new challenge offers all sorts of exciting opportunities for us to make the Cathedral an even more hospitable place as it strives to make a difference for God.”
Robert studied first at Cambridge University, where he read Classics. After three years at the National Coal Board he returned to train for ordained ministry, at Wesley House and then at Westcott House. Later, he studied part-time at King’s College, London, and received a PhD in 1995.
Robert’s ministry to date has been in the Diocese of Southwark, which covers South London and parts of Surrey. He was a curate in Sydenham from 1985 to 1988, a chaplain at Roehampton University, London, from 1988-1994 and Vicar of All Saints, West Dulwich, from 1994 to 2006, where he led the rebuilding of the church after a major fire.
From 2006 to 2010 he was Diocesan Director of Ordinands, working with candidates for ordination, and Canon Treasurer of Southwark Cathedral. Since 2010 he has been Rector of the Richmond Team Ministry. Among his wider responsibilities in Richmond he is a member of the Business and Retail Association Executive, a trustee of an almshouse charity and vice chair of governors in a comprehensive school.
Robert will be installed as Canon Treasurer during Evensong at 16.30 on Sunday 15th November 2015.
Said The Very Revd June Osborne, Dean of Salisbury:
“We are very lucky to have found a Canon Treasurer with the range of experience that Robert offers both as a minister of the church and a project manager. The Canon Treasurer’s role is vital in securing the future of this magnificent building and developing its Master Plan. I am sure it is one that he will conduct with sensitivity and confidence. Personally, his sense of humour and enthusiasm for the Cathedral and its history will, I am sure, endear him to the congregation and his new colleagues.”
The role of Canon Treasurer is bestowed by the Bishop of Salisbury, The Right Revd Nicholas Holtam. Welcoming the Cathedral’s new Treasurer he said:
“Robert Titley has great experience as a parish priest and understands major building work from first-hand experience. This will be a huge asset to the cathedral which is looking beyond its own major building works and the celebration of Magna Carta 800. Robert has discerned and nurtured vocations and is coming to Salisbury at a time when that has growing significance. I look forward to welcoming him as part of the team serving at the Cathedral.”
Robert is married to Caroline, who is chief executive of a housing association. They have two adult children.