New Dean of Chester Cathedral announced


The new Dean of Chester is to be the Venerable Dr Tim Stratford a highly experienced and respected priest, who is a published author and has strong connections to the North West.

Tim is currently the Archdeacon of Leicester. He grew up in Liverpool and started his working life as a qualified electronic engineer for Lucas CAV in its Research and Development section. He studied theology at Oxford and was ordained in 1986. He has significant experience of city and cathedral ministry from his time in Liverpool Diocese and through his work as Bishop David Sheppard’s Personal Chaplain. He has worked on some of Liverpool’s largest estates during his time as Rector of Kirkby and as a vicar in Norris Green. He has significant experience of urban and rural communities, diverse cultures and faith traditions gained while working in the Diocese of Leicester, where he holds his current post.

Tim said: “I am delighted to be joining the Cathedral and Diocese as Dean of Chester. When I was growing up in Liverpool, Chester was the historic city “over the water” where we could go for a treat and a day out. The opportunity to get to know the City and County of Cheshire from the inside and to make a difference will be a privilege.
“The Cathedral is a beautiful and historic building in the centre of the city that draws people to visit. But it is more than that too. It is a place where people can encounter the presence of God and get a sense of the things that ultimately matter beyond the here and now. I hope that over the years I serve as Dean the Cathedral will grow strong as a sign of our spiritual futures and heritage.”

The Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, said: “Archdeacon Tim Stratford has had an outstanding ministry in a variety of posts.  He will receive a warm welcome as he returns to the North West.  The post of Dean will draw together his evident gifts in leadership, worship, pastoral care and administration.  This is an exciting opportunity both for Tim, and for Chester Cathedral.”

Canon Jane Brooke, Acting Dean, said:  “Speaking on behalf of the Cathedral I want to say how delighted we are that Tim will be the next Dean of Chester. Tim brings considerable knowledge and experience to the post and the Cathedral Clergy are looking forward very much to working with him.”

Tim will take up his new role and be installed as the Dean of Chester on 8th September.


Biographical details
Tim Stratford grew up in Huyton on the edge of Liverpool leaving to gain a BSc from the University of York in Electronics. He worked briefly for Lucas CAV as a Research & Development Engineer before studying theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford.

Ordained in Liverpool Cathedral as a deacon in 1986 and a priest in 1987, Tim completed curacies at Mossley Hill Parish Church and St Helens Parish Church. He served Bishop David Sheppard as his Personal Chaplain during the years when David was very active as a national leader and was deepening partnerships with sister churches through his friendship with Derek Worlock and John Newton.

Tim served as incumbent in two outer city estate parishes on the north-eastern edge of Liverpool spending ten years at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Norris Green and ten years as Rector of Kirkby. These parishes, characterised by multiple deprivation, left a deep impression on him not least in being full of people with spirit and ability despite the adverse conditions.

For six years since 2012 Tim has been the Archdeacon of Leicester serving a socially diverse diocese with urban and rural communities, both rich and poor and people of many cultures and faith traditions.
He has served the national church as a member of General Synod for fifteen years and the Liturgical Commission for ten years.

He has written and edited a number of books and booklets focussing mainly on contextually dependent worship and mission. He was awarded a Biblical Studies PhD by Sheffield University in 2009 for his study of the mid-Victorian Slum Priest Ritualists.

Tim is married to Jen and they have three adult children and one grandson.

L-R: Revd Canon Jane Brooke, Cllr Razia Daniels – Lord Mayor of Chester, Revd Canon Barry Wilson, Jen Stratford, Venerable Tim Stratford, Revd Canon Jeremy Dussek, Revd Denise Williams


Page last updated: 9th May 2018 1:03 PM