Worship at the Abbey

The Very Reverend John R Hall BA HonDD HonDTheol FRSA HonFCollT, Dean of Westminster

:  Ref: 35617 () (c) Westminster Abbey

The Very Reverend Dr John Hall was installed as the 38th Dean of Westminster on 2 December 2006. The Dean oversees the spiritual life of the Collegiate Church of St Peter Westminster, better known as Westminster Abbey, and gives leadership to the Abbey community, which includes 200 staff and 400 volunteers. Since the Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, the Dean is responsible to the Sovereign alone.

John Hall was brought up in South London. Following a gap year in Kenya, he read theology at the University of Durham and, after two years teaching RE at a comprehensive high school in Hull, trained for the ministry at Cuddesdon Theological College. He was ordained in 1975 and served successively in parishes in Kennington, Wimbledon and Streatham in the Diocese of Southwark. He was a member of the General Synod of the Church of England from 1984 until 1992 and was also an examining chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark.

From 1992 he was Diocesan Director of Education in Blackburn and also, from 1994, a Canon Residentiary of Blackburn Cathedral. He worked in Westminster from 1998 as the Church of England's Chief Education Officer, with overall responsibility for the Church’s strategy, policy and practice in relation to schools, including 5,000 Church of England schools, and universities and for the informal education and nurture of children, young people and adults in and through the Church.

At various times he has been a governor of ten schools and two universities, a member of two Local Authority education committees and of the General Teaching Council for England. He has written widely and debated publicly on educational matters and was instrumental in the production of the Dearing Report in 2001 and its follow-up, which led to a significant expansion in the number of Church of England secondary schools. As Dean of Westminster he chairs the governors of Westminster School and Westminster Abbey Choir School.

He has been a trustee of the King James Bible Trust (formerly 2011 Trust) since its inception in 2007. He chairs the Standards Committee of the City of Westminster. He was awarded by Roehampton University the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in July 2007, became an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University in November that year and received the honorary degree of Doctor of Theology from the University of Chester in March 2008. In February 2009, he became an Honorary Fellow of St Chad’s College, Durham and, in May that year, an Honorary Fellow of the College of Teachers. In March 2011 he was installed as a Pro Chancellor of Roehampton University.