Former drug addict worker announced as new head of Portsmouth Cathedral ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Canon Dr Anthony Cane outside Portsmouth Cathedral
Canon Dr Anthony Cane outside Portsmouth Cathedral
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DURING his career he has worked with the homeless, drug addicts and founded three charities and now Dr Anthony Cane will become the new head of Portsmouth Cathedral.

The 57-year-old, currently Chancellor at Chichester Cathedral, will take up the role of the new Dean of Portsmouth in March next year.

He said: ‘I am thrilled to be joining the cathedral and diocese as Dean of Portsmouth. 

‘What a privilege to have the chance to live and pray at the heart of a vibrant, diverse city and diocese.’

His priorities in his new role will include securing its long-term sustainability, developing congregation numbers and sharpening its strategic focus.

He added: ‘While there are challenges to face, the cathedral is well placed to go from strength to strength, and I am excited to be arriving at this point in its history.’

Anthony was born and raised in Cape Town until he was 20, and studied at university there for his first degree.

He left college an atheist, and his journey to faith started when he met the woman who would become his wife, Clare, and accompanied her to church.

He worked in three different jobs in London, on the front line of engagement with vulnerable people – working with homeless people in Vauxhall, a centre for former drug addicts in Earl’s Court, and a church community project on the Kings Road in Fulham.

The-father-of-three said: ‘Working with homeless people and former drug addicts was a formative experience, not least because my faith was developing at the time.

‘Both because of this, and the fact that I was an atheist until my early twenties, I have a strong sense for those on the fringes of church.’

After ordination training at Westcott House, Cambridge, he served a curacy in Birmingham, then spent six years as senior chaplain at the multi-campus University of Brighton.

He also worked in the Diocese of Exeter, before moving to Chichester where he delivered an acclaimed annual series of public lectures, introduced five series of films with spiritual themes in a local cinema, and been a founder member of three charities.

He has also served as a governor of the University of Chichester.

He said: ‘I enjoy cathedral worship and pastoral care, and I have experience of helping people into deeper discipleship. But I think it’s important to be outward-facing too.

‘Cathedrals are well placed to be creative and put on events you might not imagine them hosting.  I intend to be out and about in Portsmouth, looking for opportunities to build partnerships.’

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, added: ‘I am looking forward to welcoming Anthony, with Clare, to our diocese and the cathedral.

‘He is well equipped to lead the development of its ministry in the parish, the city and for the diocese, building on the many strengths of its congregation and staff.’