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The Dean

Why King's has a Dean

St Paul's Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge

***As things stand, the Dean's Office & Chaplaincy is working remotely and is available via email. Chaplaincies, Chapels and Prayer Rooms are closed and all on-site services and events are suspended until further notice. Please note the current advice from King's re Coronavirus***


King's College London is unusual amongst British educational institutions, in that its Dean is an ordained person, responsible for overseeing the spiritual development and welfare of all students and staff as well as fostering vocations amongst the worshipping community.

The Ordinances of King’s College London, (E.3), state: “The Dean shall be responsible for ensuring that the College builds upon the Anglican tradition associated with its foundation and, in recognition of the multi-ethnic and international nature of its community, encourages and supports all its members of all beliefs and backgrounds (as required by the Charter, Article 3(1)).” This requires that the Dean is responsible for overseeing the spiritual development and pastoral welfare of all students and staff, regardless of belief or background.

This involves the following functions for the Dean:

  • “overall responsibility for the College Chaplaincy team and for the religious and spiritual life of the College;
  • the academic directorship of the Associateship of King’s College London (AKC);
  • the promotion of harmony amongst the student and staff bodies of all beliefs and faiths;
  • liaising with external religious and faith organisations and groups.

In performing these duties, the Dean is responsible to the President & Principal.

If you have any question relating to faith or religious provision please contact the Dean's office.

King's Anglican Foundation

When King's was founded in 1829 it was with the express purpose of ensuring that its students received an education that took seriously the religious dimension to life. Throughout the history of King's its Deans have been key people in ensuring this continues.

Sancte et Sapienter

The College motto 'sancte et sapienter' (with holiness and with wisdom) reflects both the College's Anglican foundation and its continuing commitment to religious life and theological education. 

Modern-day King's

The modern-day King's includes members from a wide array of backgrounds, cultures, and faiths. Today the Dean is responsible for the College's provision for its diverse religious community.

Deans of King's

Arthur Headlam (1903–1913)

Alfred Caldecott (1913–1918)

Walter Matthews (1918–1931) 

Richard Hanson (1932–1945)

Eric Abbott (1945–1956) 

Sydney Evans (1956–1977) 

Ulrich Simon (1977–1980)

Richard Harries (1980–1987) 

Reginald Askew (1988–1993)

Richard Burridge (1993–2019)

Tim Ditchfield (Acting)(2019-)

You can learn more about the Deans of King's here.




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