Canon Missioner at Peterborough Cathedral appointed first female Dean of Hereford

Canon Sarah Brown at Peterborough Cathedral has become the first woman to be appointed as the Dean of Hereford in the diocese’s 1,300 year history.

By Ben Jones
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 1:21 pm
Revd Canon Sarah Brown is Residentiary Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.
Revd Canon Sarah Brown is Residentiary Canon at Peterborough Cathedral.

Downing Street announced her appointment this morning (July 7) and she will take up her new role in the autumn.

A farewell service will be held at Peterborough Cathedral on a Sunday in September, with details will be announced nearer the time.

As Dean, Sarah will be the chief member of the clergy at the Cathedral and chair of the Chapter, its governing body.

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She will have overall responsibility for the Cathedral’s life, mission and ministry, and represents the Cathedral in the city and county, holding responsibilities in the wider Diocese.

Sarah has been Canon Missioner at Peterborough Cathedral since January 2018, the Cathedral’s 900th anniversary year. Since then she has been immersed in the Cathedral’s ministry to its congregation and also to the city more widely. In particular she has worked closely with organisations such as Near Neighbours, Light Project Peterborough and Churches Together in Central Peterborough.

Canon Sarah said: “It is a cliché to say that ‘I am humbled’ by this appointment but it is true. This is not modesty on my part but when I remember who I was when I first started on the Christian path I can only reflect with awe upon what God is capable of.

“If he has done this with me then I know that he can transform literally anyone who is willing, any set of circumstances, to bring new life and potential. I think that is amazing.

“I will miss everyone at Peterborough very much but I look forward to getting to know the people and places of Herefordshire and South Shropshire and joining in with what God is already doing in that part of the world.”

The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, added:

“Sarah has brought intelligence, energy, vision, and a deep passion for the Gospel to her role here in Peterborough and will undoubtedly take those qualities to Hereford as its new Dean.

“We are sad to see her go but enormously grateful for all she has given and will hold her and the community there in our prayers as they begin an exciting new chapter under her leadership.”

Confirming Sarah’s appointment, the Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford, said: “I am delighted to welcome Sarah as the next Dean of Hereford. As we plan for the future of the Church of England in Herefordshire, my hope and prayer is for a healthy, growing and vibrant community of Christians of all ages who can confidently share their love of Christ with others.

“Sarah is a key part of helping bring that vision to life. She has a heart for pastoral ministry with a vision for mission, a rare combination of gifts and I am excited to see how God uses her in her role as Dean.”

Sarah has lived most of her adult life within the Peterborough Diocese and was ordained in the city in 2008 following a career in business.

Her Church career has at different times engaged with the agricultural community, the rural churches and market town of the Daventry Deanery and the fast-growing city of Peterborough.

The Hereford job combines many of these factors and will draw on all this experience.

Sarah is married to Richard and has two children. Her parents are also moving to Hereford and Richard’s family live just over the border in Monmouth.

A live stream of her announcement as the new Dean of Hereford can be found at: