The installation of the new Dean of Chester took place on Saturday at Chester Cathedral. Hundreds of well-wishers gathered to share in the historic occasion.

The Very Revd Dr Tim Stratford comes into the Diocese of Chester from his previous role as Archdeacon of Leicester.

Speaking after the service Dean Tim said: “I have been overwhelmed by the degree of support at the cathedral today. It was lovely to see so many people here from across the Diocese.

“I now look forward to reaching out across the Diocese, to forge real relationships that may transform lives and society.”

The Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster said: “Tim is an able and experienced parish priest, having served in urban and rural settings. This coupled with his experience as Archdeacon of Leicester means the appointment will be of great benefit to the cathedral and the City of Chester. Tim brings to the Diocese of Chester experience, enthusiasm, and energy. I look forward to working alongside him as we seek to transform our communities.”

Dean Tim is a highly experienced and respected priest, who is a published author and has strong connections to the North West. He grew up in Liverpool and has significant experience of city and cathedral ministry from his time in the Diocese of Liverpool and through his work as Personal Chaplain to the former Bishop of Liverpool, Bishop David Sheppard. He has worked on some of Liverpool’s largest estates during his time as Rector of Kirkby and as a vicar in Norris Green. He has significant experience of urban and rural communities, diverse cultures and faith traditions gained while working in the Diocese of Leicester.

Tim is married to Jen and they have three adult children and one grandson.

Those present at the service included the the Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster; the Bishop of Stockport, the Rt Revd Libby Lane; the Bishop of Birkenhead, the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair. They were joined by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, and the Bishop of Loughborough, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani.

The service on Saturday was attended by clergy and parishioners from across Cheshire, alongside civic representatives, including Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, Mr David Briggs MBE, K.St.J. and Mrs Michelle Briggs; The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Mrs Alexis Redmond CBE and Professor Phil Redmond MBE.