Downing Street has this morning announced that The Queen has approved the appointment of The Very Rev Catherine Ogle as the next Dean of Winchester. Her appointment follows the retirement of The Very Rev James Atwell earlier this year.
Catherine, who will become the first female Dean of Winchester Cathedral, is to take up her position next February. She currently serves as the Dean of Birmingham, a position that she has held since 2010.
Over the course of the last six years, Catherine has led Birmingham’s Cathedral through the celebration of its 300th anniversary, overseeing major restoration works and leading fundraising efforts for major projects.
She will be bringing to Winchester 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.
Following a degree in textile and design at the University of Leeds, 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, 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 Catherine Ogle, the next Dean of Winchester, said:
“It has been exciting and rewarding to serve at Birmingham for the last six years and I am deeply grateful for all that I have learnt there.
“I am very honoured to have been appointed as 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”.
The Rt Rev Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, said:
“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.”
The Rev Canon Dr Roland Riem, Acting Dean of Winchester, said:
“We are delighted that Catherine brings so much outward-looking energy to one of England’s oldest and finest cathedrals, as well as an evident concern for people. We welcome her leadership and wisdom at this time of extraordinary growth and potential.”