Fond farewell for Chichester’s dean

The Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, Dean of Chichester Cathedral    Photo Louise Adams
The Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, Dean of Chichester Cathedral Photo Louise Adams

AS the city says farewell to the dean of Chichester, he will be given a high honour – the Freedom of the City.

Two special services will take place this weekend at Chichester Cathedral 
to mark the retirement of the Very Rev Nicholas Frayling.

He officially retires at the end of February, but he will be honoured by the city council on Saturday, and will lead a special farewell service on Sunday.

He will receive the Freedom of the City honour on Saturday, and it is the highest honour the city council can bestow.

The honour is given to ‘persons who have rendered eminent services to the city’.

The event, which starts at 2.30pm, will be presided over by the mayor of Chichester, John Hughes, who said: “This is a rare honour granted by the city council and for the freedom ceremony to be held in Chichester Cathedral makes this a unique event.”

This will be followed by a special farewell Evensong in the cathedral on Sunday at 3.30pm.

The dean will deliver a sermon, which will be followed by a presentation of gifts and refreshments in a marquee on the cathedral’s south-west lawn. Both these services are open to all.

The dean has been in post at Chichester since September 2002. He is particularly noted for his work in inter-faith and political reconciliation and has lectured in many countries on this subject.

The dean started his working life in retail, on the Harrods’ management training scheme, but then changed career and worked as a welfare officer at Pentonville Prison.

It was during this time that he decided to train for ordination, studying theology at Exeter University and finally at Cuddesdon College, Oxford.

After parish ministry in Peckham and Tooting, he moved to Liverpool in 1983 to become Canon Precentor of Liverpool Cathedral for four years.

This was followed by 15 years as rector of the ancient Liverpool city-centre parish, Our Lady and St Nicholas, finally becoming dean of Chichester in 2002.