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Dean Ison urges his congregation to 'live in truth with kindness'

The newly installed Dean of St Paul’s, Dr David Ison, today (25 May) urged his congregation to "live in the truth with kindness.”

Preaching for the first time as Dean of St Paul’s at his welcome service, Dr Ison embraced a theme of inclusivity reminding invited guests and regular members of the congregation that "God's love is inclusive.”

He added: "Everyone is loved wholeheartedly by God without exception – it's the original equalities policy: all of us are equal before God.”

Dr Ison explained that living in the truth with kindness meant dealing with people who hold different views or opinions to yourself in a different way. He touched on two issues – a visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories and the ongoing debate about homosexuality and stressed: "They're both about identity, and whether people have a right to exist, and they touch on deep-seated feelings and experiences of abuse and violence and unreconciled differences.”

He added: "Both are examples of how as human beings we have such a tendency to put the world into two camps: them and us. We say or think that, if you don't agree with me, then you're wrong; if you're not on my side then you must be my enemy.”

Dean Ison said that labels were not important when it came to faith: "It doesn't matter what adjective you put in front of yourself: liberal, conservative, charismatic, traditionalist, male or female, orthodox or unbelieving. God is onto your case - and mine. Wecan't stop God loving us, however hard we try.”

Read Dean Ison's full sermon.

Dr David Ison
Brought up in Brentwood, Essex, David went to university in Leicester and theological college in Nottingham, and was ordained aged 24 as a curate in Deptford, south-east London, where he was engaged in inner-city ministry and studied for a PhD in early church history.

After a further three years as a tutor at the Church Army training college in Blackheath, he became vicar of Potters Green, a parish on a housing estate in Coventry.

Experience in theological training led in 1993 to work in Exeter in theological training for ordinands and clergy, and from 1995 he was Residentiary Canon at Exeter Cathedral with particular responsibility for the library. In 2005 David became Dean of Bradford with the task ofrebuilding the cathedral’s ministry and mission.

David and Hilary married in 1977 while both in training for ministry. Hilary has been a parish minister, hospice chaplain, college tutor and consultant to organisations, and is currently a Selection Secretary working at Church House, Westminster. They have raised two daughters and two sons, and will be sharing life at St Paul’s with two grandchildren and a kit car.

Dean Ison succeeds The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles who resigned from the post last year.