Of bishops and deans

On 26 November, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that the Queen had appointed the Rt Rev Jonathan Frost as the Dean of York. The Press Release states: 

“The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Jonathan Hugh Frost, BD, MTh, DUniv, FRSA, Suffragan Bishop of Southampton, in Winchester Diocese, to be appointed to the Deanery of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, York, on the elevation of the Very Reverend Vivienne Frances Faull, MA, as Bishop of Bristol, on 25 June 2018”.

Further details of Bishop Frost from the Archbishop of York’s web page include:

“Jonathan Frost (aged 54), was consecrated Bishop in the Church of God to serve as the Suffragan Bishop of Southampton and Installed as Canon at Winchester Cathedral in 2010. He has also served as Anglican Chaplain to the University of Surrey, and as Canon Residentiary of Guildford Cathedral. In 2007, he became Co-ordinating Chaplain at the University and was appointed the Bishop of Guildford’s Advisor for Inter-Faith Relations. He is a Benedictine Oblate and follows a Rule of Life.

The installation of the Dean designate will be held on Saturday 2 February 2019 at York Minster”.


Readers will be aware that Bishop Frost’s predecessor as Dean of York was the  Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, who was consecrated as the 56th Bishop of Bristol by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, in a service at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on 3 June 2018; Bishop Faull was installed at Bristol Cathedral on 20 October 2018, and introduced as a Lord Spiritual at the House of Lords on 23 October.

Since Jonathan Frost was ordained as a bishop, it is likely that he will retain the style “Rt Revd”, as did the Rt Revd David Conner when he became Dean of Windsor. As has been pointed out elsewhere, whereas “Rev” and “Rt Rev” result from the ordination of the individual concerned, “Very Rev” and “Most Rev” are associated with jurisdiction and governance; or as the CofE Canons state:

A 6 Of the government of the Church of England
The government of the Church of England under the Queen’s Majesty, by archbishops, bishops, deans, provosts, archdeacons, and the rest of the clergy and of the laity that bear office in the same, is not repugnant to the Word of God

A 4 Of the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons
The Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, annexed to The Book of Common Prayer and commonly known as the Ordinal, is not repugnant to the Word of God; and those who are so made, ordained, or consecrated bishops, priests, or deacons, according to the said Ordinal, are lawfully made, ordained, or consecrated, and ought to be accounted, both by themselves and others, to be truly bishops, priests, or deacons..

Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "Of bishops and deans" in Law & Religion UK, 27 November 2018, https://lawandreligionuk.com/2018/11/27/of-bishops-and-deans/

One thought on “Of bishops and deans

  1. Plus episcopal deans tend to be appointed as assistant bishops in the diocese.
    A list of those who have moved in this direction would be interesting:in recent years it would include Rupert Hoare and Graeme Knowles. In Manchester we had Leonard Wilson after the War.

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