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The Church Of The Holy Rood      --      Wool, Dorset, U.K.

Lay Canon 2015

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Lay Canon installed in Salisbury Cathedral

About Lay Canons

By ancient custom the Cathedral has long created Canons who form part of the extended family of the Cathedral's Life. Until recently these were all clergy who were serving the diocese with distinction and they enjoyed membership of the 'Greater Chapter'.

In 1999 the Cathedrals Measure reformed the governance and constitutions of English Cathedrals allowing each individual Cathedral to rewrite its statutes within prescribed guidelines. Every Cathedral was to replace the Greater Chapter with a College of Canons and to introduce Lay Canons, a custom Salisbury had adopted informally before the legislation.



Four new canons (including one Lay Canon from our own Parish of Holy Rood, Wool) took their places in Salisbury Cathedral’s College of Canons at Evensong in the Cathedral on Thursday 15 October.

The new canons, who joined at the invitation of the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, were:


The Revd William Cave-Browne-Cave from HMP Prison Services at The Verne


The Ven Peter Eagles QHC, Deputy Chaplain General and Archdeacon for the Army


The Revd Canon Dr James Woodward, Principal of Sarum College, and


Chris Corteen, resident of Wool, a former local government finance manager and the newly-elected Chair of the House of Laity in Salisbury Diocese.

Chris pictured with the Bishop and Dean


A newly commissioned work by composer Will Todd was performed at the service. This was a setting of the Evening Canticles by composer Will Todd. David Halls, Director of Music said: “Will Todd is perhaps most famous for his wonderful, jazz-inspired ‘Mass in Blue’. The Mass has been performed hundreds of times around the world and his anthem ‘The Call of Wisdom’ was commissioned by St Paul’s Cathedral for the Diamond Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in 2012. This new ‘Salisbury Short Service’ is an exciting work, commissioned as part of the Magna Carta 800th anniversary, with a fanfaric Magnificat setting juxtaposed against a soft, spiritual-like Nunc Dimittis.”

During the service each canon was allocated a stall in the Quire of the Cathedral. The Revd Canon Dr James Woodward was installed in Durnford, The Ven Peter Eagles in Bricklesworth, The Revd William Cave-Browne-Cave in Grimston and Chris Corteen in Dorchester.

The College of Canons meets twice a year and acts as an advisory body to Chapter, Salisbury Cathedral’s governing body. With experience ranging across local government, theological enquiry, the military, immigration and prisons, the new canons will be a welcome addition, providing insight and expertise in areas that are currently very topical.


About Chris Corteen

Chris Corteen recently retired after 38 years of full-time employment in local government, most recently at Poole Borough Council where she worked as a manager in Financial Services.

Originally from Liverpool, Chris was brought up in various parts of Africa and also Qatar. Her engineer father had a pioneering spirit, working in places no one had even heard of throughout the late fifties and sixties and taking his family with him.

Chris eventually settled here in Wool, Dorset, where she has lived and worshipped for the past 25 years. Chris was confirmed as a Roman Catholic but joined the Church of England at the age of sixteen, much to the dismay of her family. The disapproval was short-lived and her mother eventually followed her into the Anglican Church and is licensed as a Reader in the Diocese of Chester.

In recent years Chris's discipleship has led her to work with the Poole Missional Community, to set up prayer groups, to undertake bible studies and to source space for contemplation in the Christian tradition at the Civic Centre in Poole, where she worked. Many work colleagues from other faiths or with no faith utilize the contemplation space and she believes that being involved in this formed a vital part of her witness in the workplace.

Chris has been a lay member of Diocesan Synod and Bishop's Council for the past nine years and of General Synod for the past five years. She is the newly elected Chair of the House of Laity in Salisbury Diocese. She firmly believes that the voice of the laity needs to be heard loud and clear within the Church, considering it vital to the life of the Church.




[The above information and pictures are taken from a Salisbury diocesan website article and from the Installation Service Booklet.]













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Last modified: Sunday, 26 February 2017