New Dean installed at Newport Cathedral
The former Vicar of Peterborough, Ian Black, was installed as the new Dean of Newport in a special service held at Newport Cathedral on Saturday (22 May).
A ‘socially-distanced’ congregation, including clergy and civic dignitaries, gathered to offer their well-wishes during a joyous service. The Cathedral rang with applause as the Bishop of Monmouth, Cherry Vann, presented the new Dean – there were even party poppers fired thanks to choristers!
Speaking after the service, Dean Ian, said: “It’s a great honour to become Dean of Newport Cathedral. My wife Susan and I have been made extremely welcome since moving to Newport and into the Diocese at the end of April. The installation service was a very special occasion, with moments of joy and fun, not least when the three senior choristers fired party poppers as part of the welcome. I look forward to working with the cathedral community, the city and diocese in the years to come.”
The service included readings by Diocesan Secretary, Isabel Thompson and Dean Ian’s wife, Susan. The new Dean was also welcomed on behalf of the city by the Mayor of Newport.
In a very special moment, a hymn, written by Dean Ian himself, was sung at the beginning of the service as symbols of the church’s mission and ministry were brought forward by members of the Cathedral congregation.
During his sermon, Dean Ian reflected on the tough year we have had and talked of a ‘reboot’ - ‘a chance to take a fresh look at who we are, where we are and how we are.’
He said: “When we look at a reboot as an opportunity to look at who we are, where we are and how we are, our foundation is built on a vision of God’s presence blessing and assuring. ‘Who we are’ is beloved and called by God in Jesus Christ to be his agents of faith, hope and love. ‘Where we are’ is standing on the threshold of a renewed beginning, where we are being challenged to not just build back but build back fairer. ‘How we are’, well let’s take time to ask one another that one.”
On announcing his appointment in January, Bishop Cherry spoke of Dean Ian’s “wealth of experience from a wide range of contexts that will enrich the life of the diocese as well as the Cathedral.”
Ian was Vicar of Peterborough, the civic parish in the heart of the city centre, and Canon Residentiary of Peterborough Cathedral.
He served as Rural Dean of Peterborough for 5 years and has had close involvement with the civic life of the city, currently serving as Mayor’s Chaplain to a Muslim mayor. Over the past 9 years the church has become a centre for culture and hospitality as well as prayer and worship. Ian has been a trustee of a Christian charity establishing a hub of services for rough sleepers and helping them rebuild their lives on firm foundations.
After ordination he served his curacy in the Diocese of Canterbury at All Saints’ Maidstone, the civic town centre parish. During the time he served as a chaplain at Maidstone Prison and helped establish a day centre and first stage accommodation project for rough sleepers.
He served as priest-in-charge of a group of parishes in Faversham, which was a turn-around role following the previous incumbent and a large proportion of the congregation leaving to join the Roman Catholic Church over the ordination of women. Ian established close relationships with the schools and community and left a church with a future. He was also a Minor Canon of Canterbury Cathedral and Assistant Director of Post-Ordination Training for the Diocese of Canterbury in partnership with the Diocese of Rochester.
For 10 years Ian was Vicar of Whitkirk, a vibrant suburban and semi-rural parish on the eastern edge of Leeds. He was a training incumbent and supervised ordinands on placement, as well as being a tutor for curates in the first years of ministry.
Prior to ordination Ian had a career in tax, both with the Inland Revenue as a PAYE Auditor and a firm of Chartered Accountants as a Tax Accountant.
Education has been an important aspect of Ian’s ministry, involvement with 19 schools including governorships, chairing a university chaplaincy council, and training new clergy.
Ian was born and grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon and is a former head chorister at Shakespeare’s Church – Holy Trinity. He studied in Canterbury, Lincoln Theological College and has a Master of Divinity degree from Nottingham University. He is married to Susan and they have two adult sons.
Ian is a spiritual writer and director. Publications include three books of prayers: Prayers for all occasions (SPCK 2011), Intercessions for Years A, B & C (SPCK 2009) and Intercessions for the Calendar of Saints and Holy Days (SPCK 2005). His most recent book, ‘Follow me: living the sayings of Jesus’, was published by Sacristy Press in 2017. He has written a hymn based on this – Christ the Saviour.
Ian enjoys walking, photography, film and theatre. He is active on social media, is a keen reader and has a wide taste in music.