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The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, Dean of York

Dean Faull trained for ministry at Saint John’s College, Nottingham and Nottingham University, after teaching with the Church Mission Society in North India and youth work at Shrewsbury House, Everton. 

She began cathedral ministry in 1990 as Chaplain at Gloucester Cathedral, where she was ordained priest in 1994. In 1994 she moved to become Canon Pastor, and later Vice Provost, at Coventry Cathedral.
In 2000 she was appointed Provost of Leicester (the first women to lead a Church of England cathedral), becoming Dean of Leicester in 2002 and oversaw significant developments of its site and facilities as well as its work as a place of gathering for all peoples at the heart of one of the most diverse cities in Europe.

Until her move to York, Dean Faull had been a member of the General Synod representing Deans of cathedrals and was on the panel of Chairs of Synod and part of the working group for the failed legislation to enable women to be bishops. She is now part of the group working to rescue the situation.

In 2011 she attended Windsor Leadership’s Experienced Leaders Programme and is a member of the Windsor Working Groups.

Before attending the programme, Vivienne set herself the objective of using the syndicate sessions to discover more about her own leadership style and priorities.  She describes those sessions as focussed, frank, supportive, creative and engaged. 

Windsor Leadership programmes feature individual speakers and Vivienne talks about the usefulness of the group discussion that takes place in the speaker review sessions, after they left.  She says, “it was fascinating how open the discussion was at that point, and how nearly everyone felt able to contribute. If the speakers had still been present I suspect the discussion would have been very different and we would have learnt far less.”

In addition to the syndicate and speaker sessions, Windsor Leadership programmes also include participant insights.  In these sessions we ask participants to talk personally about current leadership challenges.  Vivienne found these particular slots to be revelatory and says, “it was so good to be with a peer group where there was support but not competitiveness. The outcomes were for me, transformative.”

When Vivienne talks about the overall impact that the programme has had on her as leader, she talks about her increased confidence to contribute to her organisation’s rapid development.  In terms of impact on her organisation, she feels able to use some of Windsor Leadership’s processes in her own team.  The process and her fellow participants made the two day programme an excellent learning experience, being in a culture where gender was simply not an issue, and being in a group where the voice of a priest was a welcome curiosity.