The Dean of Norwich, the Very Reverend Graham Smith, is due to retire from his role in the autumn after nine years in the post.
The Dean made the announcement at yesterday’s Sunday morning service, telling the congregation that his time as Dean of Norwich had been a tremendous privilege and a big responsibility to live up the high expectations of the role.
Speaking at the service, The Dean said, “I've come to love the Cathedral, its people and staff and colleagues with a real intensity. Carys (The Dean’s wife) and I have a deep affection for Norfolk. We've made so many friends, enjoyed so many wonderful occasions that we know it will be a real wrench to leave.”
“We look back over 37 years that I've served as a priest in an active and varied ministry in very different settings, in London, Oxford and Leeds before coming to Norwich. Work in South Africa in the 1990's and more recently in Zimbabwe has been life-changing for us, and it has been a delight to share some of those experiences with others”.
“I know I will miss worship in the Cathedral: the daily services, a Sunday Service, the liturgical festivals or one of the great civic services. I shall also miss the wonderful music from the Cathedral choir and organ”.
During his time at the Cathedral, The Dean oversaw the completion of the £10 million public appeal for the Refectory and Hostry, which was officially opened by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in May 2010, and the installation of a new lighting system in the Cloister in November 2012. ‘An Evening with The Dean’, a series of out of hours visits to the Cathedral by parish groups, has also been one of his legacies.
In February 2012, The Dean took a two month sabbatical to Harare, Zimbabwe, before returning in December for the historic re-entrance into the Cathedral church of the Anglican Diocese of Harare after five years in exile.
The Dean and his wife will be moving to Devon and hope very much to maintain contact with their friends in the Diocese of Norwich and across the county as well as offering support to their new parish. They are both looking forward to having time to read, garden, walk on Dartmoor and for the Dean, time to drive his brother’s old sports car.
The Dean’s last service will be on September 29 2013, which is Michaelmas, when he hopes many people will join him and Carys for a celebration of his time and his work in Norwich.