Peter Robinson installed as Dean of Derby

Peter Robinson has been installed as the Dean of Derby in a service at Derby Cathedral.

In the service, Peter and his wife Sarah were formally welcomed by Bishop Libby and Peter promised to observe the constitution and statutes of the cathedral.

In his first sermon as dean, he spoke of the challenges faced by the church in the light of the coronavirus pandemic and other social issues.

He said: "I believe that the agenda for the Church's engagement with the weak and vulnerable in society has to be reset.

"Mental health matters, children who are at risk of harm, adults vulnerable to abuse, a growing consciousness of the message of the Black Lives movement, those whose jobs are at risk even in this very city - and add to this the obvious needs of many who inhabit the city centre - these are urgent concerns that coronavirus has laid bare before us and that need our attention. 

"God is beckoning us to respond as a church."

The service, led by Bishop Libby, had a different feel to previous installations as social distancing measures meant that only a handful of people could be present.

It included pre-recorded welcomes from the Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, William Tucker, and the head of Derby Cathedral School, Jenny Brown.

Peter was introduced to the cathedral by Christopher Nieper, who chaired the panel to appoint the new dean.

Before his appointment, Peter was the Archdeacon of Lindisfarne in the Diocese of Newcastle, a position he had held since 2008, with responsibility as chair of the Newcastle Diocesan Board of Education, as lead for community engagement in Northumberland, and for rural delivery of the diocesan vision.

Peter worked in the oil industry before being ordained in 1995; he trained for ministry at Cranmer Hall in Durham and served his curacy in North Shields.

Following his curacy, he became priest in charge at St. Martin’s, Byker - where he was highly successful in bringing together a challenging inner-city community, designing a new church building and attracting a visit from the home secretary to showcase the community’s achievement. He had also been director of the Urban Ministry and Theology project in Newcastle.

Peter said: "Sarah and I are delighted now to be living in Derby.

"The warm welcome we’ve received has been so much appreciated and we feel at home already!

"It is quite a moment to become Dean of Derby, with so many challenges to the church, not least as we re-open the cathedral for public worship and independent prayer under the necessary restrictions due to Covid-19.

"My priorities are to re-establish cathedral life and to create a range of digital services that meet peoples needs.

"I want to make as many relationships with decision-makers in the city as possible so that the cathedral can play its part in the recovery of the city’s economic, social and cultural life, and not just in Derby but beyond in Derbyshire and in the Diocese.

"A key priority for me will be to forge relationships with all the faith communities of Derby and their leaders, and to listen to their experience of Covid-19 and see how we can work together in partnership to support better those who are vulnerable as we find ways to support a recovery."

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The Diocese of Derby

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