The Revd Canon Dr Jonathan Draper, Theologian at York Minster since 2000, today has been appointed Dean of Exeter. He will succeed the The Rt Revd Jonathan Meyrick who was appointed as Bishop of Lynn last year.
As Theologian, he oversaw Historic Collections at the Minster and the Centre for School Visits as well as the development of the Ebor Lectures as a nationally recognised faith contribution to public debate.
Canon Draper said “Maggie and I are very excited about moving to Exeter, but equally sad about leaving York. We have made many friends here and it has been a great place to bring up our children with its wealth of opportunities and really good schools. We have loved York Minster and will miss the sheer grandeur and beauty of the place. Most of all we will miss the colleagues in the cathedral and the City with whom we have worked so closely for nearly 12 years. Maggie and our youngest will remain in York until A levels are done, so we won’t be disappearing completely for a little while yet.”
The Very Reverend Keith Jones, Dean of York, said “Exeter Cathedral is a wonderful place to be Dean, as I well know. Jonathan will bring gifts to Exeter of intelligence, vigour and vision, and I love to imagine the hospitable home he and Maggie will make in that lovely Close. York will miss them, but we wish them every blessing as they go to another of England’s most beautiful cathedrals.”
Canon Draper, 59, studied first at Gordon College in Massachusetts USA and then at St John’s College Durham. He trained for the ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and served his title at Brooklands, in Manchester Diocese from 1983 to 1985. From 1985 to 1992, he was Director of Academic Studies at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. In 1988 he also became Director of Studies and a member of the Theology Faculty in the University of Oxford. From 1992 to 2000, he was Vicar of Putney in Southwark Diocese. During his time, he was also a part of the Kingston Episcopal Area of Southwark Diocese Mission Team delivering continuing ministerial education for clergy and lay ministers.
In March 2000, he took up his post as Canon Theologian of York Minster. The post as originally conceived was 80% work in the Diocese of York as Director of Training, and 20% work in the Minster as a Residentiary Canon. His work as Director of Training included developing courses of adult lay education for discipleship and ministry, together with continuing education for clergy and lay ministers. In 1997, because both parts of the post became so full, they were separated off and Jonathan became full time in the cathedral with oversight of the Minster’s educational work.
Outside the Minster, Canon Draper is also a Trustee of BasicNeeds, a mental health and development NGO (www.basicneeds.org) working with mentally ill people in some of the poorest countries of the world.
Canon Draper is married to Maggie who is a senior manager in the health service and they have three children, Katherine (21), Jamie (19) and Elizabeth (16).
The date of Canon Draper’s last service at York Minster has not yet been announced.