The Very Reverend John Mann – The Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism, for courageous and visionary leadership which affirmed diversity, fostered healing and made Belfast Cathedral a place of welcome as a sacred, civic space at the heart of a divided city.
John Mann’s six-year tenure as Dean of Belfast was marked by building relationships and fostering a sense of community within the regular congregation. In 2017 he installed the first Roman Catholic priest as an ecumenical canon, alongside previously installed Presbyterian and Methodist ministers. The Choir School initiative was his vision, in partnership with three north Belfast schools (one Protestant, one Catholic and one integrated). The cathedral music department takes responsibility for teaching music in the schools and identifies boys and girls who are then trained to sing the services in the choirs of the cathedral. They attend practice in the context of an after-school homework club. Belfast Cathedral became a focus for civic events and as a sacred civic space benefited from the patience, grace and leadership of John Mann. He worked tirelessly with other religious leaders in the city and made a profound contribution to the civic understanding and acceptance of the concept of a Cathedral Quarter, ensuring that the cathedral remains at its heart. In his last three years there were congregations of between 800 and 1000 for Evensong and Compline on Culture Night and thousands more visited the cathedral. Guided tours and school visits became regular daily features, so too the daily offices. Over his tenure as dean John Mann raised over a million pounds for local charities through his pre- Christmas (Black Santa) sit-out for charity. In February 2017, at the Good Samaritan Service, the Dean distributed £230,000 - the largest sum raised to date, passing the target by some £30,000.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Team Rector in the Great Hall at Lambeth Palace