New dean installed at Christ Church Cathedral

PATIENCE has had to be a virtue for Ballarat Anglicans waiting for their new dean.

The city has been without one for two years.

The parishioners’ faith was rewarded on Thursday night with the installation of the Very Reverend Chris Chataway as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.

Father Chris, who served as parish priest of St Andrew’s Walkerville in South Australia, was appointed in a ceremony at the cathedral by Bishop Garry Weatherill. 

The 53-year-old will begin his mission in Ballarat immediately.

Father Chris, who was previously the archdeacon of the city and the port in Adelaide, said it was a new and exciting challenge.

“I have been in ordained ministry for 29 years but it is more complicated (than being a parish priest). The dean runs the cathedral which doesn’t just serve the congregation of the cathedral, but also the city and the whole diocese, which stretches to the South Australian border.

“I was an archdeacon and that position is similar but I was only a part-time archdeacon while being a full-time parish priest. I am now a full-time dean.  I am very fortunate 11 other deans from across the country are here for my installation.”

The dean is, in effect, the parish priest of the cathedral, allowing the bishop to manage the entire diocese. However he is also the bishop’s right-hand man across the diocese.

“I sense the diocese is moving into a new era,” Fr Chris said. 

“They’ve had two years without a dean in Ballarat, so they are excited and I’m excited. I am very grateful to the bishop for the opportunity. 

“I would like to bring a new sense of mission here. I am also looking forward to being in Ballarat. It has quite a historic character, something it shares with Adelaide, and there’s also the connection with people on the land.”

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