Dean of Chester announces retirement


The Dean of Chester, The Very Revd Professor Gordon McPhate, will retire this autumn.

He has been in post for fifteen years after being appointed to the position by the Crown in 2002. He will bid farewell to the Diocese at an evensong service at 5.30pm on 28 September and will preach for the last time on 1 October at the 10am Eucharist service.

The Dean said: “I have much valued my time as Dean in cathedral and diocese, in the company of a great team of supportive colleagues throughout, responding to the challenge of building up and resourcing a vibrant Christian community, and the opportunity of proclaiming Christ in fine worship and social action.”

Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, Canon Jane Brooke, said: “Under Gordon’s leadership the cathedral has reached out to many within the city and across the Diocese, and is known as a place of generous hospitality and welcome. Gordon has been a friend to many and is respected as a thoughtful preacher and a diplomat.  The staff and clergy at Chester Cathedral and across the Diocese are saddened by his departure and will miss him keenly. We thank God for the ministry of those who are leaving us, and for those who remain, and for all who worship and support our cathedral.”

The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster said: “Professor Gordon McPhate has made a substantial contribution to the life of the Cathedral during his time as Dean.  The Cathedral is now well-placed for the next phase of its life.  Alongside his Cathedral duties, Professor McPhate has also made a major contribution to the work of the General Medical Council, and to the University of Chester.”

The Dean trained as a priest in Cambridge, and holds degrees in Theology from both Cambridge and Edinburgh, specialising in the theology of Karl Barth and Medical Ethics. He was ordained and served his curacy in Southwark Diocese, where he later became a Minor Canon of the cathedral.

Since his appointment as Dean of Chester, he has become Professor of Theology and Medicine at the University of Chester where he teaches postgraduate courses in Science and Religion, and Bioethics. He is a member of the Society of Ordained Scientists.

The Dean qualified in Medicine at Aberdeen, took a Master’s degree in Clinical Biochemistry at Surrey, and a research Doctorate in Physiology at Cambridge on the regulation of gluconeogenesis in human metabolism. He trained as a pathologist, and held academic posts in Physiology at the University of London, and Pathology at the University of St. Andrews, becoming consultant chemical pathologist to the Fife Hospitals, and directing research in diabetic nephropathy. He is in both the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists, and is also an Adjudicator for the General Medical Council.