Dean of Guildford, Dianna Gwilliams to retire

July 11, 2023| News + Events, Past Issues

Dean of Guildford, Dianna Gwilliams Photo by Steve Porter

The Very Reverend Dianna Gwilliams has announced that she will retire as Dean of Guildford at the end of her ten years of service in September 2023. She will have her last evensong on Sunday 17th September to mark her final day in the Diocese.

Dianna has had ten very enjoyable years serving the Diocese of Guildford, sitting on the Bishop of Guildford’s leadership team, and leading the work of Guildford Cathedral. She joined the Diocese in 2013 following 36 years in southeast London and has been a force for good not just for Diocesan schools but education and education governance in general.

Reflecting on one of the lesser-known achievements as Dean of Guildford, Dianna said “As an engineer by training I am particularly proud of all the work carried out to the Cathedral building – enabled by 250,000 tonnes of internal scaffolding – a mammoth project only made possible by my wonderful team of colleagues.”

During her time, the Cathedral has welcomed more than 100,000 children and young people through education programmes, school services and outreach, enabled the ordination of more than 120 priests and deacons, welcomed tens of thousands of visitors, hosted a variety of film crews, and provided the focus for the County of Surrey in times of sadness and of celebration, playing a full role as a vital part of the Guildford community.

Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford, said, “I’m so grateful to Dean Dianna for her ten years of ministry at Guildford Cathedral. Much has been achieved during that time, including a superb restoration project which has greatly enhanced the welcome and beauty of this extraordinary building; and Dianna’s constant focus on glorifying Jesus has been an inspiration to many. She will be much missed, but we wish her God’s richest blessing as she moves into a well-deserved retirement.”

“Dianna has overseen many positive changes to life in the cathedral…”

His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More-Molyneux said, “Dianna, in her 10 years as Dean of Guildford Cathedral, has overseen many positive changes to life in the cathedral. Her work with schoolchildren and young people in encouraging them into the Cathedral is to be applauded. Her work with other faiths has been significant and developing further all the time. The Cathedral has played its part in large county services including our late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, embraced both within the Cathedral and the grounds.

The very great pressure that Covid put on the Cathedral and worshipping, should not be underestimated. During this time, the cathedral managed to keep its doors open, albeit with a considerable amount of additional work from the Cathedral team, led by Dianna. Her work with London Bridge was significant.

One of her last projects has been the organising of bringing the Knife Angel to Guildford. It was Dianna’s drive and determination which brought this extraordinary sculpture to Guildford and made such a positive impression.

I am pleased that she will continue in her role as a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey”.

Dianna will now take time to be with her family and remarked “I am so looking forward to being a more hands-on grandmother for my five delightful grandchildren and to be able to support my husband in his business.”

The nave of Guildford Cathedral. (Photo by Nicola Pratt)

Guildford Cathedral at sunset. (Photo by Nicola Pratt)