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Sacrist of St Paul's Appointed as New Precentor

Chapter are pleased to announce that the Reverend James Milne will join the Chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral as Residentiary Canon and Precentor, with his appointment recently approved by Her Majesty The Queen and confirmed by No. 10 Downing Street.

James has been a Minor Canon and Sacrist at St Paul’s since 2015, a role within the Liturgical Team with responsibility for ceremony, as well as preparing and leading the daily services and liturgical events. 

Having studied at the Universities of Wales and Edinburgh, James was ordained in 1998 to serve as Assistant Curate of St Mary Magdalene, Dundee. In 2001 he was appointed Rector of St Margaret’s Church, Lochee and a Chaplain for NHS Tayside. Before coming to St Paul’s he served as Rector of St Bride’s, Glasgow and Convenor of the Diocesan Development Team for Liturgy and Worship. He was also on the Liturgy Committee of the Scottish Episcopal Church, latterly as Convenor.

As Precentor, James will have oversight for liturgy and music in the Cathedral and will lead the planning and delivery of the 1,500 regular services and over 100 special services a year and the Cathedral’s busy schedule of concerts and recitals.

Speaking of his appointment, James said: "It has been a privilege to serve as Sacrist of St Paul's Cathedral since 2015, helping to lead daily worship and prepare for special celebrations and commemorations in our common life together. I very much look forward to continuing this work as Precentor, and with colleagues, embracing the new opportunities and challenges that lie before us."

The Bishop of London, The Rt Revd Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, said: “James is a deeply spiritual man and has already made a valuable contribution to the life of our Cathedral. His instinctive creativity has been particularly visible in making liturgy and services even more accessible to a growing range of visitors to St Paul’s. I feel sure that his ministry and skills will now provide a great addition to the Chapter and the wider Cathedral life.”

The Dean of St Paul’s, The Very Reverend David Ison, said: “My colleagues and I are delighted that after four fruitful and happy years here, James is stepping up into the Precentor's role. He has a wide experience of Anglican liturgy and intimate knowledge of this cathedral, and his ministry in the Scottish Episcopal Church brings a different perspective on what it means to be a national church. We look forward to working together as St Paul's continues to pursue its mission to share the good news of Jesus Christ in worship, prayer and service.”

Details of James's installation will be confirmed shortly. He replaces the Reverend Canon Michael Hampel who left the Cathedral in late 2018 to become Vice-Dean and Precentor of Durham Cathedral.