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Dean Gregory Dunstan’s Final Service

The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan led Choral Evensong on Sunday 25 October 2020 as his final service as Dean.  The Dean, who has served in this role since December 2011, will retire at the end of October.

Respecting restrictions because of the coronavirus, the final service allowed some clergy, members of the Cathedral congregation and members of the Friends of Armagh Cathedral to thank the Dean and to make presentations to him. 

The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan photographed with the Archbishop, the Most Revd John McDowell and the Precentor, the Revd Canon Norman Porteus. Credit: Ian Maginess.
The Very Revd Gregory Dunstan photographed with the Archbishop, the Most Revd John McDowell and the Precentor, the Revd Canon Norman Porteus. Credit: Ian Maginess.

Although there was sadness that this was his last service as Dean, there was great appreciation of the work which he has undertaken on behalf of the Cathedral at both church and secular levels.  While always putting the Cathedral first as a place of worship, the Dean has also been willing to involve the Cathedral in the life of Armagh, from hosting Council events such as concerts to welcoming tour operators to the City.   Armagh has obviously grown dear to the Dean as he will continue to reside in the City following his retirement and it is hoped that he will return to worship on the Hill of Armagh in the years to come.

Speaking before his final service, the Dean said, “It has been an enormous privilege, as an Englishman, to come and serve for nine years in this cradle of Irish Christianity.  Thinking of both the City and the Cathedral, their inheritance from St Patrick, their history and their musical traditions have all got under my skin.  I pray for the peace of this place, and for its welfare, not least at this exceptionally difficult time.  I look forward, God willing, in some small and different way, to continue to contribute to its life.”