Guildford Cathedral announced today that the Queen has approved the nomination of the Revd Canon Dianna Gwilliams to be appointed as the new Dean of Guildford.

Dianna is currently vicar of St Barnabas, Dulwich, acting Archdeacon of Southwark and foundation chaplain of Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift, Dulwich.

With her appointment Dianna will become one of the most senior female priests in the Church of England, joining four other women who have already been appointed to the post.

The Bishop of Guildford the Rt Revd Christopher Hill said:

I am delighted to welcome Dianna to be the new Dean of Guildford.

She was an outstanding candidate at interview. The cathedral faces great challenges in the future and I have the utmost confidence in Dianna’s ability to lead an already excellent team.

We look forward to a new era in the life of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, both within our diocese and more importantly in the wider community of Surrey and North East Hampshire as well as Guildford itself.

Dianna was born in Colorado, USA and grew up in California. She read physics and chemistry at university and came to the UK to work as a sound engineer for just six months.

Thirty five years later she is still here. Following twelve years as an engineer she was ordained deacon in 1992 and priest in 1994 in Southwark Diocese. She served two curacies in the diocese and has been vicar at Dulwich since 1999.

She has also been an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral since 2006 and has served as area dean and as diocesan Dean of Women’s Ministry.

She said:

I feel hugely privileged to have been invited to serve as the next Dean of Guildford.

I’m really looking forward to joining the chapter, congregation and cathedral council as we participate enthusiastically in the part of the mission of God with which we are entrusted; and to working closely with the bishops and clergy of Guildford so as to support the parishes and chaplaincies in the diocese.

I am very grateful for the colleagues and friends in Southwark Diocese with whom I have worked and look forward to getting to know the people of the cathedral and Diocese of Guildford.

Dianna has a particular passion for work with young people – she gained an MA from King’s College, London in Youth Ministry and Theological Education – and for education, both formal and informal.

She is also chair of Inclusive Church, an organisation committed to working for a Church that is welcoming and open to all and which seeks to raise awareness about the ways that people feel excluded by the Church.

In the community Dianna has been involved with local regeneration, community provision of education and health care and as a school governor.

Dianna has three children – her daughter Emily died in infancy, her son Michael is Head of Music at a comprehensive school in south-east London and her daughter Sarah is a paramedic with the London Ambulance Service.  Her husband Martin is a graphic designer at Southwark Cathedral.

Dianna will be installed in a service at Guildford Cathedral on 15 September. The position was previously held for 12 years by the Very Revd Victor Stock who retired in June 2012.