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First female Dean is to be appointed in Edinburgh Diocese

Posted on: March 26, 2012 3:05 PM
Related Categories: Scotland

History is set to be made in the Scottish Episcopal Church when the first female Dean will be appointed in May.  The Bishop-Elect of Edinburgh, The Very Rev Dr John Armes intends to appoint The Rev Susan Macdonald as Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh, following his consecration as Bishop on 12 May in St Mary’s Cathedral, Palmerston Place. Susan Macdonald will be installed as Dean on Sunday 13 May, at a service in the Cathedral.

The role of the Dean of a Diocese is both administrative and pastoral.  The administrative duties include oversight of church buildings and inspection of the registers, inventories and records of congregations, and generally acting on behalf of the Bishop when required.  Other roles include supporting the Bishop in his ministry in the diocese and deputising for the Bishop in a variety of situations. 

In announcing his intention to appoint the first female Dean, the Very Rev Dr John Armes says “I am delighted that Susan is to become the new Dean of Edinburgh.  Having been born and brought up in the borders and now serving as Rector of Christ Church, Morningside she brings wide experience of the Edinburgh Diocese and an understanding of the urban and rural challenges facing the Church.  I look forward to working with Susan in developing new and creative initiatives within the Diocese.”

The Rev Susan Macdonald says “I am delighted and honoured to be invited by the Bishop-elect to serve as Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh following his consecration in May, and very much look forward to working alongside him.  As well as working in three different Dioceses within the Scottish Episcopal Church I have also engaged with several parts of the wider Anglican Communion, particularly in relation to ministry development. In taking up the office of Dean I will continue to be committed to my role as Rector of Christ Church Morningside, a place of challenge, stimulation and nourishment where I have learned so much over the past five years and continue to do so.”

The current Dean of the Diocese is The Very Rev Dr John Armes, who has held this office since 2010 (and has been Rector of St John’s Church, Princes Street since 1998) He was elected as the new Bishop of Edinburgh (succeeding the Rt Rev Brian Smith) in February this year.  The Rev Susan Macdonald has been Rector of Christ Church, Morningside since 2007 (her biography is detailed below).


Biography: Born 1951. Thelogical Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church 1993-96. Deaconed, 1996. Priested, 1997. Assistant Curate, St John’s, Jedburgh 1996-98. Priest, St Peter, Galashiels 1998-2001. Priest-in-Charge, Gordon Chapel, Fochabers 2001-04.  Mission 21 Co-ordinator Diocese of Moray, Ross & Caithness 2001-04. Canon, St Andrew’s Cathedral, Inverness 2003-04. Mission & Ministry Officer, Aberdeen & Orkney 2005-2007. Rector, Christ Church, Edinburgh 2007-.

Article from: The Scottish Episcopal Church