New Canon Precentor installed

The Revd Sebastain Harries was installed as a Residentiary Canon and Precentor of Chelmsford Cathedral on Sunday 24th March 2024 in a special service of Choral Evensong.

As Canon Precentor, Sebastian will be responsible for worship, liturgy and music at the Cathedral as well as sharing in its governance and helping to shape and lead its mission and ministry.

The term ‘install’ comes from the point in the service when Sebastian is placed by the interim Dean in his ‘stall’ in the Cathedral, which is where he will sit during regular worship such as Choral Evensong. The special service included some poignant and personal music chosen by Sebastian and sung by the Cathedral Choir.

Canon Sebastian says,

"I’m delighted to have been installed here, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues from near and far, and the company of so many people who have nurtured and supported me over the years. We’ve had such a warm welcome from everyone at the Cathedral and the Diocese, and we are looking forward to getting to know everyone even better."

The interim Dean of Chelmsford, the Very Revd Paul Kennington says,

"Although Sebastian has been outstanding as our part-time Interim Precentor for well over six months, it is a real pleasure for the whole Cathedral to celebrate his installation as a Residentiary Canon and full time Canon Precentor.  The Precentor’s role is vital to the day to day running of Cathedral worship and life and Sebastian has already proven his liturgical, musical and organisational skills.  His deep ecumenically formed spirituality is evident, he has a flair for producing imaginative liturgical services and his wealth of musical knowledge and expertise will be key to the continuing development and growth of our Music Department. We warmly welcome Sebastian and his family. 

Sebastian grew up in Oxford and read music at the University of Manchester. Prior to ordination he spent time living in a number of religious communities, which included Anglican Benedictines and Franciscans. As part of his training for ministry he studied in Rome and lived at The Lay Centre, a community with a charism for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. He was ordained deacon in the Diocese of Southwark in 2016 and served his title in the United Benefice of Lingfield and Dormansland. His next post was as chaplain to Saint Gabriel's College, a secondary school in South London, where he was also an assistant priest of St John the Divine, Kennington. Sebastian is married to Olivia, vicar of Epping Team Ministry.

Return to the news page

Share this story