The Reverend Dr Robert Reiss, the Abbey’s Sub-Dean and Canon Treasurer and Almoner, will retire next summer. Canon Reiss has been at Westminster Abbey since 2005 and Sub-Dean since 2011.
Speaking about his time at the Abbey Canon Reiss said this week: ‘Fascinating, enjoyable and privileged are the words that come to mind on working here as I face retirement after eight years. We encounter the world both by saying goodbye after services or, more grandly, in meeting those who come on official visits; where else could an Anglican clergyman spend 45 minutes in the company of a Foreign Secretary of China as I had to do very early in my time showing him the building? I have also been fortunate to be Canon Treasurer in a financially buoyant period; I hope my successor is as fortunate.’
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: The Canon Treasurer has a key role in Chapter with responsibility for the finances and the fabric, the buildings within the Abbey precincts. Bob Reiss has brought his substantial experience as a parish priest and archdeacon and his personal balance and wisdom. In addition, we have appreciated his strong commitment to thinking through all the implications of the Christian faith and applying to them both a critical perspective, which has made his preaching particularly fresh, and a profound devotion to the person of our Lord, which has given his preaching great intensity. His sometimes wicked sense of humour has lightened many moments. In his role as Sub-Dean, he has been unfailing in his attention to the best interests of the Abbey and the Abbey community. When he leaves we shall wish him a long and happy retirement with Dixie and his family.’
While at the Abbey Canon Reiss has completed a PhD in ecclesiastical history, which is due to be published as The Testing of Vocation: a Twentieth Century History.
He was previously Archdeacon of Surrey in the Diocese of Guildford. Prior to moving to Surrey he was for ten years Team Rector of Grantham, then a team with seven churches and five Team Vicars, a curate and several Non-Stipendiary Ministers. He therefore has extensive experience of parochial ministry and managing clergy. While at Grantham he was elected a member of the General Synod and remained on it while archdeacon, so he had almost fifteen years on the Synod.
Canon Reiss was Selection Secretary and then Senior Selection Secretary of the General Synod's Advisory Council for the Church's Ministry (now the Ministry Division of the Archbishop's Council) and before that was Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge.