Chelmsford: Shock as Dean announces retirement on Easter Sunday

Dean Peter Judd adds the final touches to the tablet depicting St Peter back in 2010.

Dean Peter Judd adds the final touches to the tablet depicting St Peter back in 2010. - Credit: Archant

HUNDREDS of worshippers were stunned when the Dean of Chelmsford announced his resignation due to poor health this weekend.

Speaking to his congregation on Easter Sunday, Rev Peter Judd , 64, said he intended take early retirement from October this year. The news means he will now miss the centenary celebrations of the cathedral planned for next year.

“Some people were privy to the fact that Mr Judd had recently undergone an operation for cancer but it came as a surprise to most,” said publicity officer Tony Allen.

“His greatest contribution to the cathedral are the works of art he had commissioned for the building.”

Mr Dean came to Chelmsford 15 years ago where initially he took the post of provost before becoming dean two years later.

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During his time in Chelmsford, he established new works of art including the dramatic tree of life in the north transept, which features a large oak tree and includes an images of St Cedd, who is credited with bringing Christinanity to East Anglia in the seventh century.

Mr Judd also oversaw the painting of four large icons of Jesus, Mary, St Peter and St Cedd by Essex nuns above the chancel arch.

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Before coming to Chelmsford, Mr Judd had been vicar of Iffley in Oxford and a chaplain at Clare College in Cambridge. Five years ago, he was made a deputy lieutenant of Essex.

He had been looking forward to leading the centenary celebrations in 2014, which will commemorate 100 years since the parish church of Chelmsford was given cathedral status and the diocese of Chelmsford was formed.

Mr Judd and his wife, Judith intend to retire to Cambridge.

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