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Diocese to welcome new Dean

Procession of clergy in white outside St. James Cathedral.

The Very Rev. Dr. Stephen Hance has been appointed the new rector of St. James Cathedral and Dean of Toronto, beginning on Jan. 15. He succeeds the Very Rev. Stephen Vail, who retired in 2022. The appointment was announced at the cathedral on Oct. 29.

The Very Rev. Dr. Stephen Hance

Dean Hance currently serves as the national lead for evangelism and witness for the Church of England, a role he has held since 2019. He was previously the Dean of Derby, and before that the Canon Missioner of Southwark Cathedral and the director of mission and evangelism in the Diocese of Southwark.

He is married to Jacqui, who currently serves as the evangelism and witness priority coordinator at Lambeth Palace.

“I ask your prayers for both of them as they prepare to move across the pond,” Bishop Andrew Asbil wrote in a letter announcing the appointment. “Please welcome them both with warmth and joy as we all begin a new ministry together in this place.”

The couple was present at the cathedral for the announcement. “Jacqui and I are so excited to begin this new adventure together. Do please pray for us and for the community here at St. James as we get ready to go forward together, moving in early January,” Dean Hance said in a video posted on Twitter.

The service of installation will take place at St. James Cathedral on Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m.