THE INSTALLATION OF THE NEW DEAN OF GUILDFORD, the Revd Canon Dianna Gwilliams has taken place at Guildford Cathedral.
A packed Cathedral on Sunday afternoon witnessed the Bishop and Chapter of Guildford formally install and welcome the country's fifth female Dean, while representatives of other faiths and the wider community were also on hand to give their warm wishes.
Meanwhile, the urgency of the Cathedral's forthcoming fundraising appeal was laid bare for all to see, as sheeting obscured the East end of the building, lead Dame Sarah Goad, Her Majestyâ€™s Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey to comment: "We welcome you to your new Cathedral, or at least half of it!"
Dianna, who was joined by dozens of supporters from her previous Diocese of Southwark, began her address with a reference to her diminutive stature:
"I know there are a lot of people here, even if I can't necessarily see you all!" she said. "But I'm told I'm standing on the largest box the Cathedral possesses."
The address explored how although having a new Dean was news, the only news really worth hearing was the news of God, as Dianna rooted her commitment to the glory of God.
"This is a new Chapter in the Cathedral's life, but not a new book, and we could not be where we are now without the work of those who have gone before."
"And now all we have to do is get on with it!" she concluded.
The Bishop of Guildford, who read the letters patent from Her Majesty The Queen confirming the appointment, described Dianna as having been an 'outstanding candidate' at interview.
"I'd been asked if I knew that Dianna was a 'colourful character'" he said, in reference to Dianna's trademark bright scarlet fringe.
"I thought for a moment, before replying, 'well the previous Dean was hardly a fading Sepia'" said the Bishop, in reference to predecessor Dean Victor Stock.
â€œI am delighted to welcome Dianna to be the new Dean of Guildford, and I know each one of us present could add our own unique words of welcome, given the chance."
Dianna arrives as Dean following her previous position as vicar of St Barnabasâ€™ Church, Dulwich, and foundation chaplain of Alleynâ€™s College of Godâ€™s Gift, Dulwich, and is now one of the most senior female priests in the Church of England.