Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer named as first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle

HISTORIC: Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer has been elected as the next Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. She is the first female and first person born in the diocese to be appointed to the role. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
HISTORIC: Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer has been elected as the next Dean of Christ Church Cathedral. She is the first female and first person born in the diocese to be appointed to the role. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

REVEREND Canon Katherine Bowyer will become the first female Anglican Dean of Newcastle and the first person born in the diocese to be elected to the position. 

Acting-Bishop of Newcastle Dr Peter Stuart announced the historic appointment on Sunday, revealing Canon Bowyer had unanimously been accepted as the next Dean and Parish Priest of Christ Church Cathedral.

“Katherine is a highly experienced priest who loves the cathedral, its music and its many ministries,” Dr Stuart said. 

Canon Bowyer will replace outgoing Dean Stephen Williams, who will conclude his ministry in August before retiring in October.

Canon Bowyer’s recent ministries have been as the Rector of Cardiff and the Director of Formation, where she has been responsible for training future priests. 

“Katherine is a terrific preacher who has immense pastoral and liturgical gifts,” Dr Stuart said.

“She has contributed greatly to diocesan governance.

“In her various ministries she has worked to promote a healthy diocesan culture.” 

Canon Bowyer said she was immensely proud to become the first female Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.  

“I'm very honoured,” Canon Bowyer told the Newcastle Herald.

“I was very humbled and surprised when Bishop Peter called me. “This year we're celebrating 30 years of women as ordained in the Diocese of Newcastle in clergy leadership and its significant, I think.

“It's a great privilege to be able to be called to this position in this year.

“I love Newcastle. “It’s a great city.

“My parents grew up on Carrington and the Cathedral has always been at the centre of the city.

“It's the centre of my life, I guess.”

Canon Bowyer said she was looking forward to working with the many ministries of Christ Church Cathedral, including music, the Newcastle Grammar School as well as the community. 

Father Stephen Williams.

Father Stephen Williams.

Canon Bowyer will begin her ministry at Christ Church Cathedral with a commissioning service on October 4. 

The appointment of Canon Bowyer comes as the Anglican Diocese looks to replace Newcastle Anglican Bishop Greg Thompson, who resigned from his role in March, only months after exposing shocking opposition to his strong stand on child sexual abuse in the Newcastle diocese.