First female Dean of Lichfield appointed

Published: 5th June 2024

His Majesty the King has approved the nomination of The Right Reverend Janet Elizabeth McFarlane, Interim Dean of Lichfield and an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield, for appointment as Dean of Lichfield.

Jan will be the first female Dean of Lichfield in the Cathedral’s 1300 year history.

The Lord Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave said, ‘I am very glad that Bishop Jan will be the next Dean of Lichfield. She has handled her role as Interim Dean over the last year with warmth and deftness and I know her appointment will be popular with staff and visitors alike. Her love for the region shines brightly and her love for the things of God brighter still.’

Bishop Jan said, ‘I am beyond delighted to have been appointed as the first female Dean of Lichfield. I was ordained in Lichfield Cathedral 30 years ago and if you had told me then that I’d be returning one day as Dean, I would have grinned with utter disbelief! I was born and grew up in Stoke-on-Trent and so, even though I have lived in very many parts of the country over the years, I feel as if I have come home. It has been a joy to serve as Interim Dean in this vibrant Cathedral with its hard-working and gifted staff and volunteers; and in the wider Diocese, in all its wonderful diversity; and it’s a huge honour to be invited to lead us into an adventurous new chapter in the story of Lichfield.’

Jan will be installed as Dean of Lichfield by the Bishop of Lichfield in Lichfield Cathedral on Saturday 21 September at 2.30pm.

Here's how the news was announced in the cathedral:

Notes for Editors

Jan was educated at Sheffield University, and trained for ordained ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. She served as a curate in the Stafford Team Ministry, in the Diocese of Lichfield and was ordained priest in 1994. She became Chaplain of Ely Cathedral in 1996, before being appointed as Director of Communications for the Diocese of Norwich in 1999. Between 2001 and 2009, Jan served additionally as Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich. In 2009, she was appointed Archdeacon of Norwich, whilst remaining Director of Communications for the Diocese.

In 2016, Jan was appointed Suffragan Bishop of Repton, in the Diocese of Derby, and has been a Residentiary Canon at Lichfield Cathedral and Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield since retiring as Bishop of Repton in 2020. She has served as Interim Dean since April 2023. She is one of the Church of England’s first female priests and bishops.  (Continues....)

Jan succeeds The Very Revd Adrian Dorber who retired in March 2023 and will be installed on Saturday 21 September at the cathedral.

Lichfield Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Lichfield and serves the counties of Staffordshire, northern Shropshire and the Black Country – with over 2 million people, 550 churches and 200 church schools.

Image: Jan McFarlane greets the Lord Lieutenant and his wife / Lichfield Cathedral Photographers

Page last updated: Thursday 6th June 2024 12:10 PM
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