Dean David announced as the new Dean of Westminster


Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle as the new Dean of Westminster.  
He is currently Dean of Bristol and will succeed the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who retires on 1st November 2019, All Saints’ Day, after 13 years at Westminster Abbey.

David Hoyle, aged 61, studied history and then theology at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He trained for the ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon, and served his title as Curate of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Cambridge, from 1986 to 1988.

He was then appointed Chaplain (later Dean of Chapel) and Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he also served as Director of Studies in Theology. In 1995 he moved to become Vicar of Christ Church, Southgate in London, before transferring to Gloucester in 2002 as Director of Ministry and Canon Residentiary of Gloucester Cathedral. He has been Dean of Bristol since 2010 and chairs the College of Deans in the Church of England.

Dr Hoyle has a particular interest in theological education.  He is a published author with recent books about ministry and doctrine.  He also has wide experience in school governance. In his ministry in Bristol, he has been drawn into the debate about the legacy of transatlantic slavery, into charity governance and into issues of social justice.   As Chair of the College of Deans he has been closely involved in conversations about the governance and management of cathedrals.  His interests include literature, art and walking.  His wife is a primary school head-teacher and they have a son, Mike, who is 27 and a daughter, Katy who is 25. 

He will become the 39th Dean of Westminster, overseeing the spiritual life of Westminster Abbey and giving leadership to the Abbey community, which includes 350 staff and 400 volunteers. Dr Hoyle will be installed as Dean of Westminster on 16th November 2019.

The Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, and the Dean is responsible to the Sovereign as Visitor of the Abbey. This is therefore a Crown appointment and has been approved by Her Majesty The Queen following an open application process.

Dr Hoyle said: ‘Westminster Abbey is a wonderful place. It reminds us of our past, speaks of our present identity as a nation and a monarchy, and sets before us the kingdom we can be under God.  It is a huge privilege to be given the opportunity to work there.  Dr John Hall is completing an immensely distinguished ministry as Dean.  Succeeding him, it will be important to sustain the Abbey as a place of pilgrimage and outstanding worship.  I also look forward to working with some very talented colleagues ensuring that the Abbey will always bear witness to the truth that, amongst all our divisions, we can still have a shared hope.’

Dr Hall said: ‘I am delighted at the appointment of Dr David Hoyle as the next Dean of Westminster. The stage of the life of the Abbey over which he will preside will be one of very considerable demand and interest. The past years have seen considerable expansion and development in the particular role of the Abbey. We have described the Abbey’s mission as ‘faith at the heart of the nation’ but the Abbey’s contacts have reached out through the Commonwealth to very many parts of the world. It has been for me an immense pleasure and privilege presiding over the worship and mission of the Abbey. I wish Dr Hoyle every joy and success in his leadership of the Abbey community.’

The Right Revd Vivienne Faull, Bishop of Bristol, said:

The Diocese of Bristol is proud of Dean David’s impact for good on the Diocese and City of Bristol and we are proud to hear of his preferment, the second Dean of Bristol to leave us for Westminster.
David has been a wise, generous and loyal colleague in my early months as Bishop and know the Westminster Abbey team will benefit greatly from his leadership.

The Chapter of Bristol Cathedral said:

The Chapter, congregation, volunteers and staff at Bristol Cathedral would like to offer their congratulations to Dean David.  We are delighted that our Dean has been chosen to become the next Dean of Westminster. When Dean David arrived at Bristol nine years ago, he had a clear vision for invitation and welcome and the need to reach out to our city – to invite people to their Cathedral.  He lives his faith out in community, by being attentive to the needs of others and by working in a collegiate way with staff, volunteers and partners.  Through his preaching and writing he has taught the faith in a compelling way, reaching new audiences and helping people to understand the one God, and the one hope for us all.  In his diocesan and national work he has continued his efforts to improve the training and development of priests and deacons, and to encourage all those in ministry.  As he leaves, our Cathedral is more engaged and better connected to our city.
We are deeply grateful to him, and his wife Janet, for their commitment to our shared life, and we wish them well in their future life and ministry.


Download the press statement here.  Statement from No10 Downing Street.  
Photo credit Picture Partnership/Westminster Abbey 

Posted on 19th June 2019