Related to this section ...

Dean of Westminster to give University Chaplaincy Lecture

The Dean of Westminster is to deliver the University of Cumbria Chaplaincy Annual lecture.

Each year the lecture is given by a prominent Christian from the worlds of Church, politics or culture.

This year’s lecture will be given by The Very Rev’d Dr John Hall, the Dean of Westminster.

University Chaplain Rev Matthew Firth says he is thrilled that the Dean has accepted the invitation.

He said: “It’s wonderful to have such a notable Christian speaker agree to travel to Carlisle for our lecture.

“I’m looking forward to hearing what the Dean has to say on the importance that needs to be placed on ensuring the Gospel message is rooted at the centre of all that we do.”

In this year’s lecture the Dean will explore ‘The Christian Faith at the Heart of the Nation’.

The University of Cumbria Chaplaincy Annual Lecture is an opportunity for the university, local church and local community to engage with ideas about the place of the Christian faith in today’s society.

Last Christmas, Dr Hall supported a Christmas rap re-mix of the traditional carol O come, O come Emmanuel, produced by the chaplaincy intern Andy Dykes.

It received thousands of hits after being posted on social media sites and the Dean was one of those who re-tweeted links to the music video.

The Rev Firth added: “It’s great to have established strong links with the Dean who was so supportive of our Christmas project.

“It will be wonderful to welcome him here to the campus and extend our hospitality to him and offer him thanks for his help in recent months.”

The lecture will be delivered on the evening of Thursday 6th March in the Learning Gateway Lecture Theatre at the Carlisle Fusehill Street Campus of the University of Cumbria. Drinks will be served at 6.30pm, with the lecture beginning at 7pm.

To book a place at the lecture, please send an e-mail to the University Chaplain, The Rev’d Matthew Firth:

Caption Details
The Dean of Westminster, The Very Rev’d Dr John Hall with Her Majesty the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Credit: “By permission of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster”.

Notes to editors

The Very Reverend Dr John Hall was installed as the 38th Dean of Westminster on 2 December 2006. The Dean oversees the spiritual life of the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster, better known as Westminster Abbey, and gives leadership to the Abbey community, which includes 200 staff and 400 volunteers. Since the Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, the Dean is responsible to the Sovereign alone.

John Hall was brought up in South London. Following a gap year in Kenya, he read theology at the University of Durham and, after two years teaching RE at a comprehensive high school in Hull, trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College. He was ordained in 1975 and served successively in parishes in Kennington, Wimbledon and Streatham in the Diocese of Southwark. He was a member of the General Synod of the Church of England from 1984 until 1992 and was also an examining chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark.
From 1992 he was Diocesan Director of Education in Blackburn and also, from 1994, a Canon Residentiary of Blackburn Cathedral. He worked in Westminster from 1998 as the Church of England's Chief Education Officer, with overall responsibility for the Church’s strategy, policy and practice in relation to schools, including 5,000 Church of England schools, and universities and for the informal education and nurture of children, young people and adults in and through the Church.

At various times he has been a governor of ten schools and two universities, a member of two Local Authority education committees and of the General Teaching Council for England. He has written widely and debated publicly on educational matters and was instrumental in the production of the Dearing Report in 2001 and its follow-up, which led to a significant expansion in the number of Church of England secondary schools. As Dean of Westminster he chairs the governors of Westminster School and Westminster Abbey Choir School.

He has been a trustee of the King James Bible Trust (formerly 2011 Trust) since its inception in 2007. He chairs the Standards Committee of the City of Westminster. He was awarded by Roehampton University the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in July 2007, became an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University in November that year and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Theology from the University of Chester in March 2008. In February 2009, he became an Honorary Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham and, in May that year, an Honorary Fellow of the College of Teachers. In March 2011 he was installed as a Pro Chancellor of Roehampton University. Dean of Westminster is the head of the chapter of Westminster Abbey.


For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Officer, on 07984 927434, 01228 560079 or at

  • Diocesan Director of Education announces retirement Posted Tuesday 10 September ...