Dianna Gwilliams to be new Dean of Guildford Cathedral

Reverend Canon Dianna Gwilliams has been approved as the new Dean of Guildford by the Queen. She will be installed in a service at Guildford Cathedral on 15 September.

She said: "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."

Canon Gwilliams is currently vicar of St Barnabas, Dulwich, a foundation chaplain of Alleyn's College of God's Gift, Dulwich and has just completed a year as acting Archdeacon of Southwark.

She succeeds the Very Reverend Victor Stock, who retired in June last year after serving in the role for 12 years.

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

With her appointment she will become one of the most senior female priests in the Church of England, joining four other female Deans who are already in place at the cathedrals of Birmingham, St Edmundsbury, Salisbury and York.

The Bishop of Guildford, the Right Reverend Christopher Hill, expressed how pleased he was to welcome Dianna.

"The cathedral faces great challenges in the future and I have the utmost confidence in Dianna's ability to lead an already excellent team" he said.

Canon Gwilliams was born in Colorado, USA, and came to the UK to work as a sound engineer. Thirty five years later she is still here.

Following 12 years as an engineer, she was ordained a 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.

"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."

Canon Gwilliams 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 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.