Two Canons installed at Ripon service

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A former city banker and an ex-international businessman were among three members of the clergy appointed to leading roles at Ripon Cathedral last Sunday.

The Rev Dan Sladden worked in the City of London for ten years before becoming a vicar and the Rev John Chambers was a board member of an international textile group before being ordained. The two become Minor and Honorary Canons respectively.

Rev Sladden said: “Being a banker was all about numbers and money and spreadsheets. This is about people, which is far more rewarding.“

The new Area Dean of Ripon and Residentiary Canon, a senior role within the church, is now the Rev Barry Pyke who has served most of his priesthood in rural areas including Whitby, Sandsend, Staithes, Evesham and Chipping Ongar in Chelmsford.

He’s also a chaplain with the Army Reserve attached to 201 Field Hospital.

Rev Pyke said: “The first part of my task is to connect with rural areas and find out what issues communities are facing without any preconceived ideas.

“I’ll be looking at the issues that affect farmers and farming communities as well as the wider issues in rural areas such as tourism and the provision of services.“

Sunday’s historic installation, a ceremony which dates back to mediaeval times, will form part of Evensong. The three canons will literally be placed in ancient stalls by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Reverend John Dobson.

There have been canons at Ripon Cathedral since before the Norman Conquest. These priests are the direct successors of the original Benedictine monastery of Ripon which flourished here in Anglo Saxon times for nearly three centuries.