Nicholas Henshall
Nicholas Henshall
Dean of Chelmsford

Speakers Tent

Nicholas Henshall


Nicholas is the Dean of Chelmsford

The Dean of Chelmsford leads Chelmsford Cathedral. He directs the life and work of the Cathedral and chairs the Chapter. The Dean has the title, “The Very Reverend”.

After nine years as a student Nicholas was ordained Deacon (1988) and then Priest (1989) in Newcastle Cathedral and served for four years as Assistant Curate (or ‘apprentice vicar’) in Blyth, a former mining community on the North East coast. Nicholas got married to Christine in 1991 and for 10 years (1992 – 2002) was Vicar of Scotswood, an area of multiple deprivation in the west end of Newcastle upon Tyne, where all three of their children were born and did a lot of their growing up.

In Scotswood Nicholas was very much a community priest – both building an unusual worshipping community where midweek congregations of young people outnumbered Sunday congregations of adults; and leading a network of community projects employing more than 25 community workers. Nicholas spent a large amount of his time working in local schools and alongside a range of both public and voluntary sector organisations focused on regeneration. Nicholas also held various regional roles in the Church and in the voluntary sector through this time.

Between 2002 and 2008 Nicholas was Canon Precentor of Derby Cathedral, responsible for the core life of a busy city centre church, whilst also working one day a week for the BBC as a presenter on BBC Radio Derby. In Derby, alongside his main duties, Nicholas was involved again in many of the city centre, inter-faith and regional networks.

In 2008 Nicholas became Vicar of Christ Church, Harrogate, a big change after a life-time of living and working in big cities. In Harrogate Nicholas leads a large and thriving congregation, and is also involved in regular work with four local primary schools and three local secondary schools, as well as a range of responsibilities in the wider community and the wider Church. From February 2013 he has also served as acting Archdeacon of Richmond, responsible for 180 churches and 68 clergy through a major time of pastoral reorganisation.

Nicholas has a particular background in communications. He still does some work with the BBC and writes regularly for the Roman Catholic international weekly, The Tablet. He has a wide range of theological interests, and is a passionate hill walker and cook.

Bradwell Festival is supported by Essex RAYNET