Cathedral Chapter

Chapter is the governing body of the Cathedral and is responsible for all aspects of its life and mission. Its members consist of the Dean, five residentiary canons (a senior member of the clergy connected to the Cathedral) and four lay canons (experienced members of the wider community who are not ordained) and Chapter Steward.

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake

Dean of Gloucester

Dean Stephen Lake

Stephen was ordained in 1988 and served as assistant curate at Sherborne Abbey for four years.  In 1992 he became Parish Priest of Branksome St Aldhelm in Poole.  After several years as Assistant Rural Dean, Stephen became Rural Dean of Poole.  In 2001 he was appointed as Canon Residentiary and Sub Dean of St Albans Cathedral, and was installed as Dean of Gloucester on Sunday 12 June 2011.

As well as being as having overall responsibility for the Cathedral as chair of the Chapter, the Dean is a member of the Bishop’s Senior Staff Team. Stephen is currently chair of the Gloucester Regeneration Advisory Board and of the County Scout Executive. He is also chair of the Project Pilgrim Board and in 2015 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Gloucestershire for contribution to the city. He is also a Church Commissioner and a member of the National Safeguarding Steering Group,


Canon Hilary Dawson

Archdeacon of Gloucester and Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral

Archdeacon of Gloucester and Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral from January 28th 2019 (and lead Chapter Member for Safeguarding). Previously Hilary was a Rector of a Mission Community in Devon. Hilary was born and brought up in Devon and was a teacher for 18 years before training for ministry with South West Ministry Training and gaining an MA in Biblical Studies from Exeter University. In her spare time Hilary likes to spend time with her family and friends as well as travelling, walking, reading, quilting and playing the piano. She is married to Richard and they have two grown up children, Michael and Eleanor.

Canon Nikki Arthy

Residentiary Canon, Rector of the parish of Gloucester City and Hempsted

Canon Nikki Arthy Nikki Arthy is Rector of Gloucester city centre and Hempsted and Cathedral city canon. It is Nikki’s role to link the city churches with the Cathedral such that we share together in mission and ministry where possible. Nikki has a particular eye for connecting the Gospel with city life in interesting and imaginative ways. 

Canon Dr Andrew Braddock

Residentiary Canon, Department of Mission and Ministry, Diocese of Gloucester

Canon Dr Andrew Braddock

Andrew is a diocesan residentiary canon and Director of Mission and Ministry for the Diocese of Gloucester.

In the cathedral, he has a particular role in supporting the growth of discipleship and mission. In the diocese, he carries responsibility for leading the Department of Mission and Ministry in equipping and training clergy and lay people across the many different aspects of church life.


Peter Clark

Lay Chapter Member

Peter Clark began his career in Local Government as a specialist Child Care Lawyer in 1985.  He became Head of Legal Services in Oxfordshire County Council in 2002.  Peter sat as a Deputy District Judge for 4 years on the North East Circuit and since 2012 has been an Assistant Coroner for Oxfordshire and has been a committee member and past President of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Local Law Society since 2004.

Within the County Council Peter has been the principal legal adviser and the Council’s Monitoring Officer; Peter is now Chief Executive  for Oxfordshire County Council responsible for over 4,000 staff, an annual budget of over £500m covering a range of essential services including adult social care, child protection and adoption, planning and highways, and the fire service.  On Chapter, Peter has a particular interest in legal, governance, safeguarding and financial matters.


John Coates

Lay Chapter Member

John Coates

John joined Chapter in 2014 and is a Lay Canon.

He recently retired from Ecclesiastical Insurance having had a career of over 30 years, most recently as Corporate Client Director responsible for  their key Church clients.

John now supports The Dean and Chapter as Commercial and Business advisor.


Paul Mason

Cathedral Treasurer

Paul Mason

Paul read music at Cambridge, studying under George Guest and John Rutter. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1975 and worked in the commercial arts. He joined Ernst & Young and was made a partner in 1985.

In 1991 Paul was appointed finance director of the South Bank Arts Centre.  After twelve years he joined St. Clare's, Oxford as bursar, retiring in 2009. 

Paul is the Cathedral’s Treasurer and he chairs the Finance Committee.


Canon Richard Mitchell

Director of Congregational Development and Canon Precentor

Richard is originally from Cumbria and was ordained in 1991. He has served in parishes in Cumbria and in Gloucestershire before coming to the Cathedral in 2016.

He has been an Area Dean in the Diocese of Gloucester, and Chair of the Diocesan House of Clergy. He has also served on Diocesan Boards of Education in Carlisle and Gloucester Dioceses, and has been a member of General Synod since 2013.

As part of his role Canon Richard will help to drive the Cathedral’s vision In Tune with Heaven, In Touch with Daily Life, enabling the Cathedral to serve Gloucester as a dynamic place of spiritual, heritage and community activity. Key areas of responsibility will include developing the Cathedral’s Christian worshipping life, building relationships with families and local communities, and continuing its rich 500 year old tradition of musical excellence.


Canon Margaret Sheather

Lay Chapter Member and Chair of Cathedral Council

Margaret Sheather left Gloucestershire County Council at the end of 2009 after completing nearly ten years as Director of Social Services and then Group Director Community & Adult Care, holding a range of corporate responsibilities in addition to being the Director of Adult Social Services.  After 31 years work in social care roles in local authorities she then worked freelance on a range of social care related assignments.   

She has lived in Gloucestershire for 18 years and worships at Holy Trinity, Minchinhampton where she is a member of the PCC.  In the wider church she is Lay Chair of Stroud Deanery Synod, a member of the Diocesan and General Synods and a member of the Diocesan Safeguarding Panel.  As an Honorary Lay Canon she has been involved in the life of the Cathedral since 2009, chairing the Cathedral Council since 2013.


Emily MacKenzie

Chapter Steward (Chief Operating Officer)


The Chapter Steward, is the most senior lay executive officer of the Cathedral and is responsible to Chapter for all operational functions, financial and legal compliance 

Prior to taking up the post of  Chapter Steward (Chief Operating Officer) in August 2015, Emily spent the previous seven years working for the Diocese of Canterbury as the Deputy Diocesan Secretary and Director of Communications.  Before working for the Church of England, Emily developed her career in the charity sector, with senior posts in operations, business development, communications and fundraising. In 2008 she gained a Masters in charity leadership from Cass Business School of City University, London.  


Canon Celia Thomson

Canon Chancellor

Canon Celia Thomson

Celia was ordained deacon in 1991 and was one of the first women to be ordained priest in 1994. From 1995-2003 she was Vicar of Christ Church, West Wimbledon, before moving to Gloucester Cathedral in 2003.

In addition to her involvement in the daily worship of the Cathedral, Celia’s responsibilities as Canon Chancellor include oversight of Welcome and Visitors and day-to-day involvement in some aspects of the development of Project Pilgrim. She also chairs the Cathedral’s Fabric Standing Committee.


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