The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis
Doctor of Civil Law
The Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis DL was ordained in 1972 to serve as a curate in St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, and in 1975 went to be Vicar Choral of Salisbury Cathedral and Chaplain of the Cathedral School. In 1978 he became Rector of Tisbury in Wiltshire, moving from there to be Vicar of Sherborne Abbey in Dorset in 1987. In 1992 he became Dean of Hereford and in 1999 he was elected as Chairman of the Deans of English Cathedrals, a position he still holds. He has been a member of General Synod since 1985.
As Dean of Canterbury Robert is also Chairman of Governors of the King’s School. He sat on the Council of the University of Kent from 2003 – 2009 and is an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University. He is also Chairman of the Trustees of Jesus Hospital and President of the Parkinson’s Disease Society in Kent. In his time as Dean of Canterbury he has welcomed the Queen to distribute the Royal Maundy in 2002 and enthroned Archbishop Rowan Williams in 2003. He helped welcome the Lambeth Conference to the Cathedral in July and August 2008 and in the same year he was made a Freeman of the City of Canterbury. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Yale University in 2009 and a Knighthood of the Order of St John in the same year. In 2011 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent.back to top