Robert Willis is made Dean Emeritus of Canterbury
It has been publicly announced today that The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd Justin Welby, has conferred upon The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis the title of Dean Emeritus of Canterbury, in recognition of his lifetime of ministry.
Archbishop Welby said:
It is my great pleasure to confer upon Robert the title of Dean Emeritus of Canterbury. The service he has given to Canterbury Cathedral, and the contribution he has made to the Christ's Church through a lifetime of ministry are inestimable.
They reach far beyond the bounds of Canterbury and will be remembered long into the future.
Robert Willis served as Dean of Canterbury for over 20 years and, during the coronavirus pandemic, became familiar to online audiences across the world for his Morning Prayer videos from the Cathedral - and the impromptu appearances of cats Leo and Tiger.
He had previously been Dean of Hereford for nine years, was a chairman of the Deans’ Conference of the Church of England, and is a former member of the General Synod. He was awarded the Cross of St Augustine for services to the Anglican Communion, is a Knight of the Order of St John, and has written many hymns.
The newly-installed Dean of Canterbury, The Very Reverend Dr David Monteith, said
It is lovely that Dean Robert’s long service to Canterbury Cathedral has been acknowledged in this way by Archbishop Justin and we continue to pray for him in his retirement.
According to Statute 1.6 of the Constitution of Canterbury Cathedral:
'The Archbishop may confer upon a Dean, a Residentiary Canon, an Honorary Canon or an Archdeacon who vacates his office and immediately upon such vacation retires, the title, as the case may be, of Dean Emeritus or Canon Emeritus or Archdeacon Emeritus. A title conferred under this provision shall confer no vested interest and, in particular, the holder shall not by virtue of that title be a member of the College of Canons'.