A new dean has been appointed to St Albans who will be installed in the cathedral and begin her ministry towards the end of the year.

HM the Queen named The Venerable Jo Kelly-Moore, Archdeacon of Canterbury as the next Dean of St Albans.

The Dean leads the ministry of the Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of St Albans and one of the Church of England's 42 cathedrals.

Dean-Elect Jo's appointment follows the departure of the Very Revd Jeffrey John who was Dean from 2003 to 2020 and who is now an Anglican Chaplain in Paris.

The appointment of the Dean is made by the Crown on the advice of the Bishop and other figures in the diocese following a selection process involving a church and civic panel.

Speaking about the appointment, the Bishop of St Albans Dr Alan Smith said: "This is a timely moment to welcome a new Dean to the Cathedral and the Diocese after eighteen months of lockdown.

“Jo brings outstanding experience to our Cathedral from Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland, Aotearoa, New Zealand and from a leading post in the Church of England as Archdeacon of Canterbury.

“That makes Dean Jo well placed to build on the legacy of Dean Jeffrey in establishing public understanding of St Albans Cathedral as the home of Britain's First Saint, St Alban.

“She will commend herself to the community in St Albans and more widely in the diocese and beyond through her warmth and the sense of quiet command that she conveys. I warmly welcome her."

Prior to her ordination, she practiced as a solicitor in both New Zealand and London.

Dean-Elect Jo said: "Cathedrals have so many roles, and just like the cities they serve, on any given day within them, many different things happen.

"Above all, St Albans Cathedral is a place of welcome and engagement for all people whether they come to visit, learn, worship, volunteer, enjoy the magnificent historic building, pray, listen to a concert, see an exhibition, enjoy our grounds, or eat and drink in 'the Abbot's Kitchen'.

“I want to see all those roles continue to grow, develop and adapt to the world into which we are emerging as we get to grips with what we all hope will be a post-Covid world.

"The contribution that cathedrals make to their communities is not just spiritual but social and economic too, affirmed by the recent report from ECORYS to the Association of English Cathedrals.”

Jo, who is married and has two children, is also an avid participant in Parkrun and hopes to join St Albans' Parkrun once she has settled in.

The Revd Dr Kevin Walton, Acting Dean said: "It is a very great delight to welcome Jo to the community of St Albans Cathedral as our new Dean, and we very much look forward to her contributing to the life, worship, and mission of this special place.

"Our prayers are very much with Jo and her husband Paul as she prepares to join us."