The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee Named Interim Dean of Grace Cathedral

Posted on March 10, 2009
 San Francisco, March 6, 2009 – The Rt Rev Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California, today announced the appointment of the Rt Rev Peter James Lee, currently Bishop of Virginia, as interim dean of Grace Cathedral.

Lee will assume this new role on Oct. 1, 2009, the date which coincides with his resignation as Bishop of Virginia. He will serve as interim dean until a new, permanent dean of Grace Cathedral is installed, targeted for Michaelmas (Sept. 26) 2010. Andrus is currently serving as the dean, following the retirement of the Very Rev. Alan Jones, the seventh dean of Grace Cathedral on Jan. 31, 2009.

It is the standard practice of The Episcopal Church to have an interim period between deans, allowing for the reassessment and planning of the next phase of a church or cathedral’s life, especially after a long and successful dean’s tenure.

“Peter Lee brings outstanding experience as a community builder and will be a voice of moderation in this time of transition,” said Andrus. “During this period, the congregation and the diocese are reassured that Grace Cathedral will be in good hands as we prepare for our future ahead. Peter is an iconic bishop, and the perfect interim dean for this iconic cathedral.”

“The Board of Trustees values Bishop Lee’s acumen both as a gifted spiritual leader and a talented administrator,” said Greg Scott, chair of Grace Cathedral’s Board of Trustees. “He has successfully led a large and complex diocese for a quarter century. Bishop Lee’s tenure will enable us to search for a new dean while continuing our mission in spiritual advancement and to the broader Bay Area community.”

For 25 years, Lee has led the Diocese of Virginia, the nation’s oldest Episcopal Diocese, which was founded in 1785. Stretching south from the Washington, D.C. suburbs to the Shenandoah Valley, the Chesapeake Bay, and Richmond, the state capital, the diocese is comprised of 181 congregations, 80,000 members and 455 clergy, making it the largest diocese in The Episcopal Church.

A new dean search committee, led by chairs Valerie Crane Dorfman and Tobias Keller, was formed in fall 2008, and is comprised of lay and ordained cathedral and community leaders. The search will be global in reach. The committee’s goal is to deliver recommendations to Andrus that will then be approved by Grace Cathedral’s Board of Trustees and result in the installation of the new dean, targeted for Michaelmas (Sept. 26) 2010.