Bishop Peter Carrell has announced Christ Church Cathedral has appointed its youngest ever Dean, 37-year-old Rev Canon Ben Truman, currently the Vicar of Opawa St Martins and chaplain of St Mark’s School in Christchurch city.
Bishop of Christchurch Peter Carrell said that Ben Truman’s appointment ushers in a new era of leadership, fresh perspectives, and a commitment to fostering a strong sense of family and community at the heart of Christchurch Cathedral.
“Ben brings to the role huge intelligence, a warm and approachable manner, and theological and pastoral insight into the ways of God in relation to humanity,” Bishop Peter said.
“He's already a proven leader in our diocese and for seven years has been a Canon of the Christ Church Cathedral Chapter.”
Bishop Peter says Ben has a solid understanding of the unique ministries of the Cathedral, as a worshipping community, diocesan mother church, a place for community outreach and a range of special civic roles. Ben will begin his service as Dean located at The Transitional Cathedral on Latimer Square and then move to lead the Cathedral community at the reinstated Cathedral in the Square, now projected to be opened in 2026.
As he takes up the position Ben Truman said he is delighted and humbled to be serving at such an important time in the Cathedral’s history.
“I am excited about re-establishing the Cathedral in the Square as central to the heart of the city and the Diocese. I want the Cathedral to be an inclusive space for everyone, a place of welcome and hospitality, irrespective of people’s faith or beliefs."
“We are more than halfway through the Cathedral’s rebuild. In four years’ time it will reopen its doors and continue to play its key part in our city’s identity.”
Growing up in Greymouth in the Diocese of Nelson, Ben already sensed a call to the ordained ministry while at high school and as a member of "The Shed" community youth ministry.
He became a high school drama teacher and spent three years teaching at Burnside High School, including through the earthquakes. Following further study and ministry training at St. John’s College he was ordained priest in November 2015 and served his curacy in the Parish of Lincoln. Since 2017 he has served as Vicar of Opawa-St Martin's.
Bishop Peter says that Ben has an infectious enthusiasm for God which encourages people to get more involved or come back to worship.
“These skills will stand him in good stead as Dean, particularly as he seeks to build the congregational life of the Cathedral."
"His deep-rooted commitment to faith, passion for inclusivity, coupled with his genuine concern for the well-being of others, makes him the perfect candidate to lead us forward as we embark on this exciting chapter of the rebuild of our Cathedral in the Square.”
Ben Truman is married to Johannah Truman and they have three children: Edward (4), Toby (2) and Thomas(1). He follows on from Interim Dean Very Rev Bosco Peters and from Dean Lawrence Kimberley who served in the role from 2015 up to May this year.
Ben Truman will be installed as Dean of Christchurch in December.