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The Revd Canon Lee Batson announced as Dean of Newcastle

14 July 2023

The Bishop of Newcastle, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, has announced that the Revd Canon Lee Batson will be the next Dean of Newcastle.

Lee currently serves in the Diocese of Chelmsford as a Parish Priest and Area Dean in the Epping Forest and Ongar Deanery. He is also Diocesan World Church Partnership Officer, serves on the Diocesan Board of Education, and is Chair of the Epping Forest Schools Partnership Multi Academy Trust. 

Congratulating Lee on his appointment, the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani said:

“My warm congratulations to Lee on his appointment as Dean of Newcastle. We will of course miss him greatly in the Diocese of Chelmsford, particularly in the Epping Forest and Ongar Deanery, where he has been a faithful servant to the parishes, schools and local communities. I’m also enormously grateful for all that Lee has contributed to the life of our wider diocese, particularly through his work to build and develop relationships with our partner dioceses. He will leave with our prayers for this next chapter in his ministry and gratitude for all that he has brought to us in Chelmsford Diocese.”


Speaking about his appointment, the Revd Canon Lee Batson said:

“I am humbled and delighted to have been appointed as the next Dean of Newcastle, and am looking forward to working with Bishop Helen-Ann, Cathedral Chapter, Bishop’s Staff Team and colleagues in Newcastle Cathedral and Diocese as we seek to further God’s mission in our communities – not least by becoming ever more outward facing, younger and more diverse. 

“This is an exciting time to be joining the Cathedral and Diocese. The Cathedral has recently completed its own refurbishment, which has already opened up new opportunities for it to engage with the City and beyond. 

“Whilst I am new to the North East, I already feel a sense of connection with the core values of the Cathedral as a place of radical welcome which, through offering inspiring worship and other activities, seeks to empower worth.  I look forward to playing my part in building on all that has already been done to make these values a reality – particularly through the Lantern Initiative and partnership with the Oswin Project."

Speaking of his time in Chelmsford Diocese, Lee added:

“I am hugely grateful to the Diocese of Chelmsford for the opportunities I have been given, for all that I have learned, and for the friends I have made, since I was ordained here in 2004.”


The Bishop of Newcastle, The Right Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley said:

“I am absolutely delighted that God has called Lee to Newcastle, and thrilled that Lee emerged as the unanimous candidate of the appointment panel during our discernment process. Lee brings tremendous energy and gifts to his new role, and a commitment to the mission and ministry of God in a Cathedral context as it relates to the city and to our whole Diocese. I am very much looking forward to Lee arriving in the Autumn and to welcoming him to our wonderful region!”

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