On Sunday 9 September at 15:30 our new Dean, The Very Reverend Nicholas Papadopulos, made his way to the West Doors of Salisbury Cathedral dressed for the last time in the robes of Canterbury Cathedral.
After five years as the Canon Treasurer in Canterbury, and still at this point the Dean Designate of Salisbury, Nicholas was accompanied by The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury, and his colleagues from Kent.
The Canterbury party were met at the Cathedral’s West End by colleagues from Salisbury Cathedral and following a ceremonial exchange of robes, Nicholas was presented to The Right Revd Nicholas Holtham, the Bishop of Salisbury, who welcomed him.
The ceremony, which took place during the Cathedral’s service of Evensong, began with the "Royal Letters Patent” being read aloud, signalling the Queen’s approval of the appointment and authorisation for Nicholas to take up what is constitutionally a Crown appointment.
Over 80 members of the clergy including three visiting Deans and five Bishops of other Dioceses were among the congregation or in the procession. Archbishop Justin Badi from South Sudan and the Dean of Riga, accompanied by group from the Deanery of Jurmala, Latvia, were among those present.
Amongst the lay dignitaries were the Lord Lieutenants of Wiltshire and Dorset, the High Sheriff of Wiltshire, the Mayor of Salisbury, the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, the Mayor of Bournemouth, the Leader of Wiltshire Council and the Leader of Bournemouth Council. The Assistant Chief Constables of Wiltshire and Chief Constable of Dorset represented the police at the service.
As the installation ceremony got underway an Introit (or introduction) written for the occasion by Salisbury Cathedral’s Director of Music, David Halls, was sung by Salisbury Cathedral’s choir. The words were chosen by Dean Nicholas and were written by Richard Church, the twentieth century Kentish poet:
“I caught my breath
In the chill splendour
And hush of night;
Bowed my heart
Before humanity transfigured,
Touched with immortality.”
The service also featured a hymn written for the occasion by the Dean of Canterbury. It celebrates holy places - such as Salisbury and Canterbury – and all that they offer those who visit them and the communities that they serve.
Standing below the Cathedral’s soaring Spire, the new Dean then swore the oaths of allegiance to the Queen and obedience to the Bishop. The Deed of Institution, a legal document that passes on the Bishop's authority to the Dean-Designate to function as Dean and priest in the Cathedral and Diocese of Salisbury, was read aloud.
Dean Nicholas’ wife Heather and their son Barnaby and daughter Thea looked on as he was installed in his seat in the Quire of the Cathedral and preached his first sermon as Dean. You can read his sermon here.
The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury said: “Nick Papadopulos was warmly welcomed by the Cathedral and diocese. His commitment to this place as a house of prayer in service to the wider community is unwavering and his installation signals a new beginning for Salisbury Cathedral and the city after what has been a difficult year. That joy and optimism extends to Heather, Barnaby and Thea, who we hope will spend many happy years within this community.”
Dean Nicholas of Salisbury, said: “Becoming Dean of this ancient and beautiful Cathedral is an awesome responsibility. This place shaped my early ministry and taught me the power of worship and the value of a shared life of prayer. This Cathedral community sits at the heart of the city, just yards from the High Street – a place to gather, a place to relax, a place to study and a place to pray. It is a symbol of hope that is visible for miles around. I look forward to working with my colleagues, as well as with partners across the city, the counties and the Diocese to make a difference for the local community and all who visit this extraordinary place.”
Dean Nicholas Papadopulos is the 81st Dean of Salisbury, an ancient role that can be traced back to the 12th Century and the original Salisbury Cathedral at Old Sarum. He has served previously in Salisbury, as Senior Chaplain and Press Officer to the then Bishop of Salisbury from 2002 to 2007, so his installation is something of a homecoming.
For any other enquiries or further information contact:
Marie Thomas at Salisbury Cathedral email@example.com 01722 555148