Christ Church Cathedral appoints youngest-ever Dean

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 27, 2023 |

Photo: Supplied

The Christ Church Cathedral has appointed its youngest-ever Dean – 37-year-old Reverend Canon Ben Truman, currently the Vicar of Opawa-St Martins (St Mark’s, Opawa).

Bishop Peter Carrell said “Rev’d. Truman’s appointment ushers in a new era of leadership, fresh perspectives, and a commitment to fostering a strong sense of family and community within the heart of Christchurch.”

The role of Dean includes responsibilities for the worship and ministry of the Cathedral and leadership of its mission to the city of Christchurch. This is currently undertaken at the Transitional Cathedral.

“Ben brings to the role huge intelligence, a warm and approachable manner, and theological and pastoral insight into the ways of God in relation to humanity,” Bishop Peter said.

“He’s already a proven leader in our diocese and for seven years has been a Canon of the Christ Church Cathedral Chapter, the governing body of the Cathedral.

“The Cathedral is focused on being available for all kinds of special and civic occasions, alongside diocesan events. Ben is very familiar with the values and aspirations of our Cathedral community.

“He also understands the importance of nurturing both the spiritual and familial bonds that unite the Christchurch community,” said Bishop Peter. 

Photo: Supplied

One of the defining aspects of Ben’s appointment is his role as a devoted family man. Married to Johannah, Rev’d. Truman is also father to four-year old Edward, Toby (2) and one-year old Thomas. 

Commenting on his appointment Rev’d. Truman says he is delighted and humbled to be serving in this role at such an important time in the Cathedral’s history.

“The Cathedral is a place where all people can feel spiritually at home,” said Rev. Truman

“I am excited about re-establishing the Cathedral in the Square as central to the heart of the city and the Diocese. I want the Cathedral to be an inclusive space for everyone, a place of welcome and hospitality, irrespective of people’s faith or beliefs.

“We are more than halfway through the Cathedral’s rebuild. In four years’ time it will reopen its doors and continue to play its key part in our city’s identity.”

Growing up in Greymouth, Rev. Truman said that even at high school he felt a call to ministry, but felt he needed some life experience first. He became a high school drama teacher and spent three years teaching at Burnside High School including through the earthquakes.

While Ben will miss the St Mark’s community and is grateful for what they taught him, he believes that Dean of Christ Church Cathedral is the ‘best job in the world’ with an added bonus of regularly listening to a world class choir.

Bishop Peter says that Ben has an infectious enthusiasm for God which encourages people to get involved or come back to worship.

“We have seen that in his current parish. These skills will stand him in good stead as Dean, particularly as he seeks to build the congregational life of the Cathedral.

“His deep-rooted commitment to faith, passion for inclusivity, coupled with his genuine concern for the well-being of others, makes him the perfect candidate to lead us forward as we embark on this exciting chapter of the rebuild of our Cathedral in the Square.”

Rev Truman will replace Dean Lawrence Kimberley who served in the role from 2015 to May this year.

“Lawrence led us through a very challenging time in the life of the Cathedral. When he started as Dean, we weren’t sure what was going to be happening to the Cathedral in the Square and it took two years to decide that it would be reinstated,” said Bishop Peter.

“We also thank Rev’d Bosco Peters who is currently the Acting Dean of the Christ Church Cathedral.”

The installation ceremony for Rev’d Truman as Dean will take place in December.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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