The Very Revd Sarah Brown was installed as the new Dean of Hereford on Saturday 2 October during a special choral evensong which also celebrated the Feast of St Thomas of Hereford.
In a service which was livestreamed and attended by members of the cathedral communities of Peterborough and Hereford, representatives from Hereford Diocese and local dignitaries, Sarah became the first woman in the 1,300 year history of the diocese to be appointed to the role of Dean of Hereford.
Dean Sarah opened her sermon by thanking everyone who had made her so welcome in Hereford before calling on the community to grow as disciples and help bring forward the next generation to Christ. Those present were encouraged to demonstrate generosity to others as Sarah explained how the cathedral will at times need to meet the spiritual, and sometimes physical needs, of the city and county before its own. The Dean’s sermon closed with an acknowledgement of the challenges that lay ahead in a post-Covid world and a promise that Jesus would be central to every decision she makes moving forward.
Sarah joins Hereford from Peterborough Cathedral where she has served in the role of Canon Missioner for three and a half years. Since her ordination in 2008, Sarah has worked closely within the agricultural and rural community as well as gaining valuable experience of ministry to market towns and a cathedral city. As Dean of Hereford, she will have overall responsibility for the cathedral’s life, mission and ministry, alongside administration, finance and fabric matters as well as holding responsibilities in the wider diocese.
The Very Revd Sarah Brown, Dean of Hereford, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to all who pulled out all the stops (some literally) to produce a spectacular time of worship for my welcome and installation. I have been amazed and touched by the generosity and kindness already shown to me and my family by so many people and look forward to serving among you, learning to be the kind of Dean the Cathedral needs for these times and working with a whole range of people and organisations to make Jesus known in the world.
“It is exciting to start this new phase of life in Cathedral and diocese with you and we shall see what God calls us to do.”
The Rt Revd Richard Jackson, Bishop of Hereford, said: “I am pleased to welcome Sarah officially as Dean of Hereford, a role which is for the Cathedral and community as well as the wider diocese of Hereford. Sarah brings a wealth of experience from her life before ordination, in the Farm Crisis Network, and her ministry in Peterborough which will enrich the life of our Cathedral and diocese.
“I would like to add a public thank you to Precentor Andrew Piper who has been Acting Dean, he has been a huge support during the vacancy.
“Sarah’s appointment brings the senior team back up to full strength. We are now looking forward to working as a team supporting and encouraging our churches and communities as they rebuild post lockdown.”
Sarah has moved into the historic Cloisters of the cathedral with her husband Richard, they have two children; Alice, who is a musician and Edward, who is training to be a vet. Sarah’s parents have also relocated to the city and Richard’s family are based just across the border in Monmouth.
The livestream of the installation of the Dean of Hereford is available to watch on the cathedral website: www.herefordcathedral.org/news/installation-of-the-dean-of-hereford