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Lichfield Cathedral

Volume 726: debated on Thursday 26 January 2023

I look forward very much to visiting Lichfield cathedral, but sadly that may not be until after Dean Adrian Dorber retires. I know that the dean’s work has been so significant that I will see many ongoing examples of his tremendous legacy when I do visit.

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, because he will see the Herkenrode glass, which has been restored, and he will hear the magnificent organ, for which £6 million had to be raised to make it sound so beautiful. They are a reminder that a dean’s work is not just worship, but fundraising, management and all the other factors in running a great and successful cathedral such as Lichfield. What sort of training is given? It seemed to me that poor Adrian Dorber had to learn on the job and then, with a little bit more investigation, Mr Speaker—it is a bit like being a Speaker, actually—that they all have to learn on the job. Can we not improve on that?

One might think that Lichfield cathedral was the only cathedral in the Church of England, because my hon. Friend is one of the very few Members who regularly stands up for his cathedral. Running a cathedral, as he rightly says, is not only a major spiritual undertaking to proclaim the good news of Jesus, but a huge management task, which is why we require all new deans to undertake a component of an MBA module before taking up office.