Special day of services to mark Dean of Norwich's retirement

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, will be retiring in May after eight years at the helm of Norwich Cathedral

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, will be retiring in May after eight years at the helm of Norwich Cathedral - Credit: Norwich Cathedral / Bill Smith

People are being invited to a special day of services to mark the retirement of the Dean of Norwich after 42 years in ministry.

The Very Rev Jane Hedges will be stepping down next week after eight years at the helm of Norwich Cathedral.

She became the first female Dean of Norwich in the cathedral’s 900-year history in 2014 and has overseen many projects, including an appeal that raised more than £2.5m to fund a major restoration of the Cathedral’s organ and hosted the Natural History Museum’s Dippy the dinosaur exhibition.

She was also the first woman to be appointed a residentiary canon in the Church of England, serving as canon pastor at Portsmouth Cathedral.

In 2006, she became the first female canon at Westminster Abbey before moving in 2014 to become the 39th Dean of Norwich.

The dean, who is retiring just after her 67th birthday, will be moving to Northumberland with her husband Chris.

A day of special services will take place on Sunday, May 1 to bid farewell to her.

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The Dean of Norwich, who was ordained deaconess in 1980, deacon in 1987 and priest in 1994, said: "My husband Chris and I have been incredibly happy here in Norwich and we love the county of Norfolk and the people with whom we’ve shared our lives over the past eight years.

"As we leave here we will take so many happy memories with us - not only of Norwich but of all the places in which we have lived and served - Fareham, Southampton, Portsmouth, Honiton and Westminster."

Until the new Dean of Norwich is appointed, the Rev Dr Peter Doll, Norwich Cathedral’s canon librarian and vice dean, will be the acting dean.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, said the dean has become a "much-respected" religious leader in Norfolk and Waveney and the Church of England, and will miss her friendship.

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

He added: "Her natural warmth and hospitality have been appreciated by many, both on big occasions and at one-to-one meetings, and have always reflected the love of God that we encounter in Jesus."

People are invited to attend the services next Sunday at 10.30am sung eucharist and 3.30pm festal evensong, which are also being livestreamed on YouTube.