When he was installed as Prebendary for Dunholme at an Evensong service held on St Hugh’s Day yesterday (Monday 17th November) Canon Neil became the first head of the university to be made a Canon of Lincoln Cathedral in over 100 years.
The first two principals of the original Diocesan College were Canons of the Cathedral: the Reverend Canon Hector Nelson (1862-92) and the Reverend Canon Alfred Rowe (1892-1912).
Professor Neil has been worshipping at Lincoln Cathedral since his arrival in the city last year. “This is a wonderful honour and it enhances the relationship between Bishop Grosseteste University and the cathedral,” said Canon Neil. “I am very much looking forward to serving in this capacity.”
The recognition given to the Vice Chancellor illustrates the continuing relationship between the cathedral and the university and the Diocese of Lincoln and the university, said Canon Neil.
“As an Anglican foundation we are very proud of our roots in the diocese. In mediaeval times many of the great universities grew out of the cathedral schools. We are a growing university and we see ourselves integral to the fabric of Lincoln. We have something special to offer and that is enhanced by the connections we have with both the cathedral and the diocese.”
Canon Neil has degrees in theology from Queen’s University Belfast (through Union Theological College) and from Cardiff University (through St Michael’s Theological College, Llandaff). He was ordained in St David’s Cathedral in the Church in Wales.
Bishop Grosseteste University holds its graduation ceremonies each year in the Cathedral and its annual carol service will take place there on 3rd December at 3pm.