Cathedral bids farewell to The Dean of Ely

PUBLISHED: 08:59 07 October 2011

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THE Dean of Ely, the Very Rev Dr Michael Chandler, said farewell to the city at a special service in Ely Cathedral on Sunday.

The service, to mark the Dean’s retirement, was attended by Bishops past and present, local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, the High Sheriff, the Mayor of Ely, and a 700 strong congregation.

The choirs of Ely Cathedral sang hymns especially chosen by the Dean, and performed one of his favourite anthems, The Gateway of Heaven, composed by Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely .

The Service included moving tributes by members of the cathedral community and the clergy. Dr. Chandler responded by saying how fortunate he had been to serve at Ely. “I feel very honoured to have been Dean of Ely. It goes without saying that we will miss Ely, the Cathedral and everyone who has made our time here so happy and worthwhile,” he said.

At the end of the Service, the Dean and his wife Janet were presented with gifts from the cathedral, the diocese and from the members of St. John at Hackney, with whom the Cathedral has a long standing collaboration.

A member of the Cathedral staff said: “Everything about this day, including the numbers in the congregation, the words and the music, sum up how we all feel. It is not hard to see how well respected and how popular the Dean has been.”

Dr. Chandler, the 34th Dean of Ely Cathedral, came to Ely from Canterbury Cathedral where he had served as Canon Treasurer. During his eight years as Dean of Ely, much work has been done to continue the improvements and maintenance of the Cathedral fabric and its precincts, which began with the great restoration of the 1990s when £12million had to be raised to fund urgent repairs to the building.

In 2005 Dr. Chandler oversaw the launch of ‘The Music Appeal’ with the objective of creating an endowment fund to secure the future of the Cathedral’s highly renowned choral tradition. It is not yet known when Ely will be welcoming a new Dean. The process of recruiting a new Dean is ongoing. The appointment will be announced by Downing Street.

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