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Retirement of the Dean of Ely

Bishop Conway pays tribute

Michael Chandler

The Dean of Ely, the Very Revd. Dr Michael Chandler, has announced that he will retire at the end of September 2011.

Whilst in post he has been instrumental in raising the profile of one of the Church of England’s most iconic buildings. 

Dr Chandler was installed as Dean in September 2003. He came to Ely from Canterbury Cathedral where he had served as Canon Treasurer. 

During his eight years as Dean of Ely, much work has been done to continue the improvements & maintenance of the Cathedral fabric and its precincts, which began with the great restoration of the 1990’s when £12million had to be raised to fund urgent repairs to the building.

"It will be a wrench to leave Ely and this beautiful Cathedral and the wonderful community here, but we shall hope to keep in touch with our many friends in the City and neighbourhood,” he said this week.

The Bishop of Ely, The Rt Revd Stephen Conway, today paid tribute to Dean Chandler’s ministry: “He has exercised a very warmly appreciated ministry at the Cathedral and in the wider life of the Diocese for eight years, and in that time, we have had the opportunity to benefit from his scholarship, wisdom and humour. He has made it a particular project to secure the future of the Cathedral, ensuring a steady programme of maintenance and refurbishment of the fabric and leading the Chapter in their stewardship of this remarkable building and its resources.

Bishop Conway added: “I have benefited personally from Michael’s support and pastoral care in recent months, as I have embarked on a new ministry [since becoming Bishop of Ely] and have rapidly come to value him as a perceptive and loyal colleague.

In 2005, Dr. Chandler oversaw the launch of ‘The Music Appeal’ with the objective of creating an endowment fund to secure the future of the Cathedral’s highly renowned choral tradition. 

By encouraging his team to explore new opportunities to bring in much needed revenue, Ely has become one of the UK’s most prestigious Cathedrals. Over the last five years the Cathedral has been used as a key location for several major films including Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl and most recently The King’s Speech.  This level of exposure has greatly increased visitor numbers and show-cased the visual magnificence of the building to a worldwide audience.

His successor will be a Crown Appointment and announced by Downing Street after a process of selection is undertaken.