I am very pleased to let you all know that I have appointed the Reverend Reuben James Preston as the new Dean of our Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway.
Reuben will continue as Rector of St John’s, Johnstone and St Margaret’s, Renfrew. He will work closely with me, the Bishop’s Staff Group and the Diocesan Council.
I would like to thank and pay tribute to Canon Gordon Fyfe, who has been acting Dean for the past two years. He has been an invaluable support to the Diocese during the vacancy and to me since my election. Gordon has brought immense energy and commitment to the challenging task of combining the roles of Synod Clerk, acting Dean and Rector of St Columba’s, Largs, especially during the pandemic. We all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. Gordon will continue as Synod Clerk and as a valued member of the Bishop’s Staff Group and Diocesan Council.
Reuben will be licensed and installed at the Diocesan Zoom Eucharist from St Mary’s Cathedral, at a date to be arranged. He will, however, begin to take on the responsibilities of Dean with immediate effect.
I ask your prayers for Reuben as he prepares to take up this role, and for the congregations of St John’s and St Margaret’s as they adjust to their Rector also being Dean of the Diocese.
Reuben was born in Stevenage and brought up between Clwyd and Kent. He graduated in Computer Systems and Software Engineering at York University. After serving in inner-city Birmingham as a youth worker in the 80s, he trained for ministry at Westcott House, Cambridge.
Ordained in Birmingham Cathedral in 1991, Reuben served in further outer city parishes before being Team Vicar of Malvern Link Team.
After a period of Diocesan ministry covering multiple vacancies, he was asked to work with the Diocesan Interfaith Advisor as priest at St Benedict’s, Bordesley Green, pioneering work with mosques and Afro-Caribbean communities.
Academic work took Reuben to the Diocese of Portsmouth where he served as the first State Secondary School Chaplain in the Church of England, whilst being the priest at St Matthew’s, Bridgemary, a Chaplain at Portsmouth Prison and pioneering what grew to become the largest youth project in the Diocese.
He was then called to serve in London and oversaw the rebuilding of the church and site of St Mary of Eton, Hackney Wick. Following this, Reuben went to ‘the land of the Vicar of Dibley’ in Bedfordshire as Rector of four parishes, before leaving the Church of England to come to work in our Diocese. Reuben is married to Stephen, and they live with their infamous Basset Hound George in Renfrewshire!
Reuben has been a long time Oblate of Alton Abbey in Hampshire and is a trained Ignatian Spiritual Director. He undertook the 30-day Spiritual Exercises in 2015 with the Cenacle Sisters in Liverpool. He comes to us with experience of leading the international GB&I Thomas Merton Society conferences since 2006 and national retreats with SSM and at The Kairos Centre.
We pray for Reuben and Stephen as they enter a new phase of ministry.
Glasgow and Galloway
Feast of Christ the King 2020