A PROMINENT North-East clergyman has been appointed to a senior post in the Church of England.

The Very Reverend Canon John Dobson, who is currently Area Dean of Darlington, has been confirmed as the Dean of Ripon, following the death last year of previous incumbent Keith Jukes.

Rev Dobson, 49, who is currently vicar of All Saints and Salutation Church, in Darlington, was brought up in Yorkshire.

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He has spent his entire ministry in the Diocese of Durham and was welcomed to his new post in a ceremony at Ripon Cathedral on Thursday (March 13).

Rev Dobson said: “I’m delighted to be coming to Ripon - it’s both a huge privilege and a challenging responsibility – and it’s at a particularly exciting time as the new diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales is born.

“My future colleagues at Ripon have done such a good job, sustaining the Cathedral’s life in a time of deep sadness following Keith Jukes’ death.

“I look forward to working with them.

“Since I first visited as a boy, I’ve found Ripon Cathedral an inspiring place.

“Its music and welcome are already tremendous and I look forward to exploring how these can be secured and strengthened for the future as well as exploring how the Cathedral can continue to add value to mission in the parishes and deaneries.

“I am passionate about churches being encouraged to grow and flourish and go out to make the local community more like heaven than otherwise it would be: and my hope is that Ripon Cathedral can develop its ministry of supporting local parish churches.

“I also believe strongly that the Church needs to work in partnership with public, voluntary and private sectors, and I look forward to developing such links and partnerships in and from Ripon.”

The Right Reverend Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford and Bishop-designate of Leeds for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales, welcomed the appointment.

He said: “He will bring much wisdom and experience to this role as he joins with the rest of us in shaping the new diocese.”

Rev Dobson’s wife Nicola is headteacher of Bolton-on-Swale CE Primary School and they have two children, James, 19, and 16-year-old Jessica.

His interests include walking, bellringing, wine tasting, visiting art galleries and golf.

He added: “I have loved the Yorkshire Dales since being a boy – I used to play in the River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey, and as a family we have enjoyed our mobile home in Nidderdale.”