Dean of Ely announces retirement date

THE Dean of Ely, Dr Michael Chandler, has announced that he will retire in September after eight years in the post.

The Dean, who was installed in September 2003 after Reverend Michael Higgins retirement, will be moving to his house in Whitstable, Kent with his wife, Janet.

Speaking publically about the announcement, he said: “It will be a wrench to leave Ely and this beautiful cathedral, and the wonderful community here, but we shall hope to keep in touch with our many friends in the city and neighbourhood.”

Dr. Chandler came to Ely from Canterbury Cathedral in September 2003 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 a �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.

Whilst in post he has been instrumental in raising the profile of one of the Church of England’s most iconic buildings. By encouraging his team to explore new opportunities to bring in much needed revenue, Ely has become one of the UK’s most prestigious cathedrals. Over the last five years the Norman building has been used as a key location for several major films including Elizabeth:The Golden Age, The Other Boleyn Girl and most recently The King’s Speech. This level of exposure has greatly increased visitor numbers and show-cased the visual magnificence of the building to a worldwide audience.

Though no successor has yet been announced, it is expected that the Government will appoint a new Dean in time for Dr Chandler’s retirement later in the summer.