Appointment of our new Canon Missioner - Chester Cathedral

Appointment of our new Canon Missioner

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We are pleased to announce the appointment of Revd Anthony Lees-Smith to be Canon Missioner at Chester Cathedral. Anthony is currently Vicar of St Denys, Evington, in the Diocese of Leicester where he has served since 2012 and has been Area Dean since 2020. Anthony will be Collated and Installed at the Cathedral later this coming summer.

A current part-time student at the University of Chester, Anthony was ordained in Ely in 2009 after training for ministry in Durham. He has spent the last twelve years as vicar of the very diverse parish of Evington on the edge of Leicester. Having been Area Dean for the city during the pandemic, he has more recently become part of the diocesan training team with responsibility for curates. For the past six years he has been back and forth to Chester studying for a professional doctorate focussed on the lived experience of religious difference. Formerly a primary school teacher, accountant and linguist, Anthony is passionate about seeing church connect with community in creative ways, so that people of all ages and backgrounds might encounter God and one another more deeply. He has held various community roles, including as trustee for a homelessness charity, spiritual adviser to the Lord Mayor, chair of governors for a community school and squadron padre to the local air cadets.

Anthony says, "Chester has got under my skin in recent years and I am very much looking forward to moving and becoming part of the Cathedral team. It is always a joy to discover with people where the Spirit of God is at work in our lives and our world. I am excited to see how we can partner with others across the city and diocese to articulate the Christian faith and make a real tangible difference in the community, not least among the most vulnerable and marginalised."

The Very Revd Tim Stratford, Dean of Chester, says, “I am delighted that Anthony will be joining the team as a close colleague of mine in the coming months. Our paths crossed in Leicester Diocese and I know him to be an able priest who has served in the multi-cultural parish of Evington with distinction. He brings many gifts and much experience from the worlds of education, church social engagement and art that perfectly complement the role of Canon Missioner.”

The Rt Revd Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester adds, "I am looking forward to welcoming Anthony and his family into our shared life, mission, and ministry in the Cathedral and more widely in the Diocese. We have such good news to inhabit and share and his new role as Canon Missioner will be a gift of grace."

Anthony is married to Wendy with two daughters, Erica and Hilary, and the whole family are keen singers. Anthony enjoys doing practical theology over a pint, as well as working on his recently acquired knitting skills!

Kevin Baxter

Communications Director

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