Rochester has a new Dean after a seven-month search.
The Rev Dr Mark Howard Francis Beach, pictured, is announced as Rochester Cathedral's new chief today.
Dr Beach, 50, who is currently Team Rector of Rugby, replaces Adrian Newman whose send-off included Bollywood dancers and the James Bond theme in July after he was made Bishop of Stepney.
Dr Beach, a former University of Kent student said: "I am delighted to be coming back to Kent. I often passed over the railway bridge and looked admiringly at the Cathedral and Castle but never dreamt I would one day live next door!"
The new Dean of Rochester joins the cathedral as it puts together a £5 million Lottery bid, including a project to create an exhibition space in the crypt.
Dr Beach added: “It is a good time to be joining the team at Rochester as Bishop James leads a renewed vision for the diocese and the Cathedral awaits the outcome of its Heritage Lottery Fund bid.
“I am looking forward to building on the work of Adrian Newman, the previous Dean, and deepening relationships with the diocese and other parts of society in the area. I am especially keen that the Cathedral should play an important part in the life of Medway, whose aspirations to become a city I share.”
“Cathedrals are beacons of our faith and places of welcome and sanctuary from the busy world. In the present economic environment this becomes even more important and I hope that together we can continue this openness to the church and the world.”
The Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester said, “I am delighted that Mark has been appointed as the new Dean of Rochester. He comes with wide experience of ministry in various settings within the Church of England."
Dr Beach will be installed as Dean in Rochester Cathedral on Sunday, May 20 at 3.15pm.