Leicester Cathedral has welcomed their new dean during a time of ‘huge change’ for the institution with plans to ‘to reorder the building to make it more usable to the city’.
The Very Reverend David Monteith was installed as Dean on Saturday afternoon after four years at the cathedral. The Bishop of Leicester Rt Reverend Tim Stevens led the ceremony that contained music chosen by Monteith featuring an Irish prayer reflecting his roots and a procession led by Dhol drummers symbolising the thriving diversity in the city.
Monteith is keen to continue the cathedral’s embracing of different cultures telling Pukaar News: “One of the things that Jesus told his disciples is to love your neighbour as you love yourself. You can’t love your neighbours unless you know them and you can’t know them unless you welcome them.”
“Resolving our tensions and difficulties with violence of any kind can’t be the way to a sustainable future. I hope to bring those at loggerheads, to come together and look each other eye to eye.”
The new dean marks a wave of change in the cathedral’s future with the reburial of King Richard III, Monteith said: “It is the occasion where the world looks on us. It will be a real carnival and an opportunity for reflection.”
“It needs to have all the pomp and splendour that’s going to capture the imagination, it also needs at the heart of it the serious and significance of the Christian understanding of death.”
The most vital role of the Dean of Leicester will be keeping the cathedral in touch with the community. His first public engagement will be a visit to the offices of charity FairShare which helps provide food for those struggling financially.
Monteith said: “We are concerned about those struggling in life to put food on the table. There’s going to be a food bank in the city centre at St Martin’s House with the other churches. We can make sure people are fed, heard and given the dignity they need.”