Canon James Cronin, Dean of St George's Cathedral, Southwark since 1996, has been appointed by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples as the next National Director of Missio, part of the worldwide network of Pontifical Missionary Societies, supporting the Church in countries where it is young or poor.
He will succeed Monsignor John Dale, who has served in the post since 2003. Monsignor Dale has overseen the allocation of more than £25 million donated by the Catholics of England and Wales towards the support of 1,069 mission dioceses. These donations have included the contents of APF/Missio's iconic red boxes which are in more than 200,000 homes in England and Wales, contributing more than £3 million each year. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the red boxes.
Canon Cronin's time at the Cathedral has included the visit of the Dalai Lama in 1999, a visit from the Princess Royal, and the recent refurbishment of the Amigo Hall. He has served as an elected governor of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and in May 2008 he and the Cathedral staff were presented with a special award by the Southwark Civic Association.
As the Diocesan Co-ordinator of Black and Ethnic Minority Chaplains, Canon Cronin has wide experience of welcoming Catholics from overseas to our diocese and has long been supportive of the Church's missionary activity.
Archbishop Smith plans to appoint Father John O'Toole as the new Cathedral Dean. Father John has been Director of the Christian Education Centre at Tooting Bec since 2004. He had previously been parish priest of St Andrew's, Thornton Heath and St Paul's, Thamesmead. He has also served in the parishes of Lewisham and Merton.
He is known by many in the Cathedral parish who have worked with him in organising the Rite of Election each year.
The Archbishop intends to appoint Father David Gibbons as the new Director of the Christian Education Centre. Father David is currently parish priest at the Sacred Heart, Camberwell.
The three priests are likely to take up their new positions sometime during the summer.
For more information see: www.missio.org.uk/
Source: Archdiocese of Southwark