Chelmsford Cathedral
Announcement concerning Revd Canon Simon Pothen

From: The Dean

The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall


Father Simon, Canon Precentor here at Chelmsford Cathedral died on 13/11/17. Simon was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in February 2017, and has faced a complex journey with real courage, generosity and characteristic humour.

Simon has served here at Chelmsford Cathedral as Canon Precentor for a decade, working alongside colleagues in the liturgy and music department and on Chapter to develop the worship and musical life of the cathedral. The fruit of this is to be seen in both the recognised excellence of the cathedral’s choirs, into which Simon has put so much energy and support, and the thriving life of our worshipping communities.

Simon grew up in Calcutta, where his father was Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, and then in London where his father was a parish priest. He studied at Westminster College, Oxford and trained for the priesthood at Ripon College, Cuddesdon. He was ordained in 1988 and served as curate first of Christ Church, Southgate and then St Mary, Tottenham. He was team vicar of St Mary & St James, Grimsby; Rector of St James, Friern Barnet; and Vicar of St John, Pinner before his appointment to Chelmsford.

Simon was a person of immense personal generosity and good humour. His exuberant family life with his wife, Debs, and their children Josh, Abby, Beth, Martha and Noah, was beautifully celebrated on 30 June this year when, despite the advance of his illness, he was able both to officiate at Beth and Nathan’s wedding and be “father of the bride” at the reception.

Across the Cathedral congregations, the whole staff team and the wider networks of the community and the diocese please hold Simon and his whole family in your prayers in thanksgiving for the gifts that he has shared with us down the years.

Simon died in the absolute assurance of the explicit Christian faith that shaped his life, his values and his whole way of looking at the world. Whilst we say farewell with real sadness and grief, we are invited to give thanks for his life and to celebrate the faith, hope and love by which he lived.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.



Simon's funeral will be held here at Chelmsford Cathedral on Thursday 7 December at 11am. Everybody is welcome.

For clergy wishing to robe, vesture will be alb and white stole.  Please phone Clare 01245 294498 to confirm you will be attending.

The family have requested that no flowers are sent.  A retiring collection will be split equally between The National Autistic Society, Epilepsy Action & Farleigh Hospice.


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