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The Dean's Farewell

Published: 17th August 2023

On Friday 25 August The Dean of Worcester, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, will retire after 16 years in post.

Friday 25 August will be my last official day as Dean of Worcester. At Evensong that day, at 5.30pm, the Bishop will commission Stephen Edwards as Interim Dean. We will also take the opportunity of installing Matthew Hall in his official stall in the Quire – one of several installations which we were not able to complete while the Quire was out of action. All are welcome at this service, which will be sung by one of our visiting choirs. Earlier that afternoon I am meeting the Cathedral staff at a farewell occasion, and I shall join the residents of St Oswald’s Hospital at their Eucharist earlier in the week.
As you probably know, my more public and official farewell will be at Evensong at 4pm on Sunday 10 September, and I look forward to seeing many of you there. I shall also preside and preach at the 8.00am Eucharist and 10.30am Sung Eucharist on that day. Among many guests, I am delighted that three members of the clergy of Magdeburg Cathedral will be with us, and that Bishop David Edwards, the Auxiliary RC Bishop, will represent His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham.
In the following days, removal vans will arrive to take our furniture to North Yorkshire.
I have already had many opportunities to express, in person and in print, much of what the past sixteen years have meant for me and my family. No doubt I shall have to say a bit more on 10 September, so I will confine myself to one observation here. While sorting through accumulated files and boxes I have come across cards and messages wishing me well for my installation on 28 April 2007. It seems like yesterday. The intervening years – roughly a fifth of my life – have gone very quickly. Which is a way of saying how happy Lynne and I have been in Worcester.

Farewell services - Sunday 10 September

  • 8am - Holy Communion (BCP) which will also be live streamed to the Cathedral's Facebook page.
  • 10.30am - Sung Eucharist with the Dean preaching. There will be an informal community farewell with presentation of gifts after this service in the Chapter House.
  • 4.00pm - Evensong with the Dean preaching and various people making a brief speech during the service.

Farewell gifts

As we prepare to say farewell to Peter and Lynne Atkinson, there is an opportunity to make a gift in gratitude for their time at Worcester. You can send a cheque made payable to ‘Worcester Cathedral’ or leave a cash donation at the Chapter Office, 8 College Yard, Worcester WR1 2LA - clearly marking the envelope ‘FAO Monika Nicholson/The Dean’s Retirement’, or by making a BACS transfer using the following details:

Account Name: Worcester Cathedral, Bank Account 50182885, Sort Code 20-98-61, and please add the reference: Peter’s Gift.
The closing date for contributions is Sunday 3 September.

A Way of Putting It

A Way of Putting It: Sermons of Peter Atkinson, edited by Michael Brierley and published by Sacristy Press is available to purchase from the Cathedral Shop. The book includes 50 of the Dean’s sermons, preached over the past 30 years, a foreword by the Bishop of Worcester, an afterword by the Archbishop of York, and an essay on the art of preaching by Michael Brierley and Georgina Byrne.

Page last updated: Thursday 17th August 2023 9:54 AM

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