The Chapter directs and oversees the administration of the affairs of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. It is the ‘governing body’ of the Cathedral and consists of eleven people, both clergy and laity, chaired by the Dean. It orders the worship and mission of the Cathedral, formulates policy, manages property, oversees finance, and generally ensures that the Cathedral’s Constitution and Statutes are maintained and reviewed.


The Dean (The Very Reverend Joe Hawes) as the leading priest has oversight of the spiritual and administrative life of the Cathedral Community. The Dean is a senior member of the clergy of the Diocese and so represents the Cathedral in its role as Mother Church of the Diocese.


The Residentiary Canons work closely with the Dean in leading worship in the Cathedral and in each of their areas of responsibility. They are:


The Precentor (The Reverend Canon Philip Banks) has responsibility for worship, music and the arts, organising both regular services and the wide range of special services that take place in the Cathedral. He also oversees the Fabric of the Cathedral.


The Canon Pastor (The Reverend Canon Matthew Vernon) has responsibility for pastoral care in the Cathedral community and oversees the Ministry of Welcome to visitors. The Canon Pastor coordinates baptisms, weddings funerals, home communions, hospital visits and other pastoral encounters. Canon Vernon is also the Sub Dean.


The Archdeacon for Rural Mission (The Venerable Sally Gaze).


Lay Members of Chapter are: Elizabeth Steele (Cathedral Warden), Stewart Alderman (Cathedral Warden), Tim Allen (appointed by The Bishop), Barbara Pycraft (elected by Annual Parochial Church Meeting).


To see a copy of the Cathedral’s Accounts for 2013 click here

To see a copy of the Cathedral’s Accounts for 2014 click here

To see a copy of the Cathedral’s Accounts for 2015 click here

To see a copy of the Cathedral’s Accounts for 2016 click here

To see a copy of the Cathedral’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2017 click here

Lay Member of Chapter Profiles

Elizabeth Steele (Cathedral Warden)

I am Cathedral Warden having been originally elected in 2014. I have been worshipping at the Cathedral since 1988 when my son became a server, a role he still does today.I have been married to Edward for nearly 40 years and I have 1 son, 4 stepdaughters I retired in 2012, having spent 40 years in education finally being a Headteacher for 20 years. My role on Chapter at the moment is Chairing the Youth Strategy Group having written a report for Chapter investigating the provision for young people within the Cathedral. I am very interested in well being of staff and H.R. and I hope to become more involved in that area soon.

Stewart Alderman (Cathedral Warden)
Tim Allen (appointed by the Bishop)

Bishop Martin appointed me to be a Lay Member of Chapter for a three year term from September 2016. I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the life of the Cathedral and to serve the congregation. As someone who has all my life loved Cathedrals and their style of worship but has mostly been directly involved in small rural parishes (as Churchwarden, Elder and PCC member, etc) it is especially good now to be part of the community of a fine Cathedral which is also a flourishing Parish Church. My aim on Chapter will be to see that we get the best of both worlds.

By way of background, I was born into a farming family just over the border in Cambridgeshire. But farming was not for me and, after reading History at Cambridge and spending a lot of time on the river as a cox, I went to live and work in London. After a spell at the Bank of England I was sent to help establish the embryo Securities and Investments Board. Happily I succeeded in retiring early from both bodies and was able to spend fifteen years or so based in Orford doing various sorts of voluntary work for the Church of England. In the Diocese, I served as Chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee and as a member of the Bishops Council. At the Cathedral, I served on the Council for a term and am still a Lay Canon. Nationally, I was an active member of General Synod where my main enthusiasms were striving for woman bishops, for good care of church buildings and for simplification of church law.

For a variety of reasons, I decided earlier this year to move from Orford to Bury – which I have always known and admired, not least because my late wife, Jane, was brought up here. We were married in St Mary’s. I am still excited at living here, especially because the delights of the Cathedral are only four minutes away across the Great Churchyard.

Barbara Pycraft (elected by Annual Parochial Church Meeting)

I am looking forward to playing a full part as a member of Chapter and hopes that I can bring to the table the fruits of my experience, gathered from a varied career as Secondary School Teacher, Musical Director and Commercial Manager.

Originally brought up in Belfast into the Methodist tradition, I was later confirmed into the Church of England at Manchester Cathedral, whilst studying at the University there.

Frequent house moves have enabled me to experience and be part of several parishes up and down the country, from singing in the choir of St Peter’s Berkhamsted, to serving on the PCC at St Ninian’s Troon.

Retiring south of the border in 2008, we chose Bury St Edmunds for our home, where I enjoy playing both chamber music and with Suffolk Sinfonia, in addition to helping in the Cathedral Shop and being part of the Warden team.