St Paul’s Cathedral has appointed Rev Prebendary Paula Hollingsworth to be its next chaplain.
Paula is the Vicar of the parishes of Priddy and Westbury sub Mendip with Easton, Dean of Women’s Ministry for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, and the Sub Dean of Wells Cathedral.
Half of her ministry has been spent in Bath and Wells diocese. Ordained as a deacon in 1991, she was amongst the first group of women ordained as priests in Wells Cathedral in 1994. She served her curacy in Keynsham and after working in the dioceses of Leicester and Birmingham, she returned to this diocese nine and a half years ago.
She said her new role as Chaplain to St Paul’s was a unique opportunity. “It’s a really hands-on and people centred role, which I love, though living in the centre of London will be very different from living in a Mendip village!”
Her years spent in ministry in this diocese had been very special, she said.
“I have loved being part of this diocese, I love the ethos and the friendliness here. I have so many friendships among colleagues and parishioners that I hope to take with me. I feel very privileged to have gained so much experience here, combining a parish role, a Cathedral role and a diocesan role. Without the opportunities given to me here in Bath and Wells, I would not be able to take on this new role.”
The Revd Canon Tricia Hillas, Pastor of St Paul’s, said: “With substantial experience of parish ministry and as Sub Dean of Wells Cathedral, which have included working with the staff and pupils of the schools in her parishes and leading services for Wells Cathedral School, Paula is extremely well placed to make a significant contribution to the life of St Paul’s as its next Priest Vicar and Chaplain. Entirely committed to the well-being of others, Paula brings a gracious, thoughtful, wise and encouraging presence and we are absolutely delighted that she is joining our community.”
The Chaplain of St Paul’s works within the team of clergy who serve St Paul’s and has day to day responsibility for the pastoral care and support of Cathedral staff, volunteers, regular worshippers and the pupils, staff and parents of the Cathedral School. The Chaplain also has a distinctive liturgical role in contributing to key pastoral services such as Confirmations, Diocesan services, school services, the Chrism Mass and commemorations for Cathedral staff.
Paula will move to London in January.