New Chief Operating Officer announced


The interim Dean of Chelmsford is delighted to announce that Justine Horseman Sewell will take up the role of Chief Operating Officer in April 2024.

Justine is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Southwark Cathedral where she has led the commercial and operational functions and resources since 2021. Amongst her many achievements at Southwark was successfully leading the Cathedral through the implementation of the Cathedrals Measure – the first parish church cathedral to do so. Prior to her move to Southwark, Justine held the Cathedral Administrator role at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and was a legal consultant for Durham Cathedral. Justine brings with her a depth of governance knowledge, as well as long experience in creating visitor engagement and creative commercial opportunities in the cathedral context. She also understands the particular needs of a parish community in a Cathedral setting.

Justine studied Art History and was a Chapel chorister at Cambridge University. She is a qualified solicitor and has worked in the arts and third sector for many years, including at the Fifteen Foundation and Tate galleries and for clients including the Girls’ Day School Trust, Thomson Reuters and Virgin Media. She was raised and educated in East London and has lived back in Essex for the past twenty two years. She completed the Chelmsford Diocese two-year Course in Christian Studies (Bishop’s Certificate) in 2021 continues to sing in local choirs and in cathedrals with the Prometheus Consort. She now lives on the Stour estuary with her husband, Ian, and has four grown up daughters and a newly arrived baby granddaughter.

The Very Rev’d Paul Kennington, interim Dean of Chelmsford, says,

“I am delighted that Justine will be joining us here at Chelmsford Cathedral as our new Chief Operating Officer. Justine not only brings a wealth of experience of cathedral governance and leadership, including guiding cathedrals through the new Cathedrals Measure, she also has a strong and long-standing connection to Chelmsford Diocese and a real understanding of the life of the church in Essex and East London.

Justine joins us at a time of great change and will be in an excellent position to continue the significant progress made by our outgoing COO Alex Siddell. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Alex for all he has achieved during his time with us.

We are very much looking forward to Justine joining the team and are excited about the opportunities her appointment will bring to the Cathedral.”

Speaking about her appointment Justine says,

“I am absolutely delighted to be given the opportunity to serve the communities of Essex and East London in the role of Chief Operating Officer at Chelmsford Cathedral. I am very much looking forward to helping make a difference to the Cathedral in my home Diocese, to working with churches I grew up with and with Diocesan friends I made during my Christian Studies course. The Cathedral is a wonderfully warm and colourful space and I am looking forward to becoming part of its life.”

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