David Richardson (priest)

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The Very Reverend Canon
David Richardson
Born David John Leyburn Richardson
(1946-03-14) 14 March 1946 (age 71)
Townsville, Queensland
Nationality Australian
Alma mater University of Queensland
Title Emeritus Dean of Melbourne
Spouse(s) Margie Lewis (m. 1972)
Children 1 son; 1 daughter
Parent(s) David James Leyburn Richardson (1905–1956) Alice May nee Tansey (1916–2002)[1]
Church Anglican
Other posts
  • Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome (2008–2013)
  • Dean of Melbourne (1999–2008)
  • Dean of Adelaide (1989–1999)
Ordination 1970 (deacon); 1971 (priest)
Personal details
Denomination Anglican

David John Leyburn Richardson AO OBE (born 14 March 1946) is an Australian-born Anglican priest, former cathedral dean and director of the Anglican Centre in Rome.

Early life and ministry[edit]

David Richardson was born in Townsville, Queensland, but spent most of his childhood in England in North Devon and then the Midlands where his father worked as a priest. He finished his schooling in Brisbane.

After studying English literature at the University of Queensland, Richardson studied theology at St Barnabas’ College in Adelaide and then received his postgraduate diploma in pastoral theology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Richardson remained in the United Kingdom and served a curacy at the Church of St Mary the Great, Cambridge, the civic and university church of Cambridge, while also serving as chaplain at Girton College at the university from 1976 to 1979. He then returned to St Barnabas’ College as sub-warden where he taught New Testament studies, liturgy and pastoral care and spirituality until 1982. For the next five years he was the rector of Christ Church in St Lucia, Brisbane.

Cathedral dean[edit]

In 1988 Richardson was invited to become the Dean of St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide where he served for 11 years before becoming the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne in 1999. As dean, he led a multimillion-dollar public appeal to restore the cathedral's spires and improve the interior of the building. His contribution is commemorated by the stone sculpture of his head by Melbourne artist Smiley Williams on one of the cathedral's spires.

On his departure from St Paul's in 2008, the cathedral chapter awarded him the title of Dean Emeritus. This honour recognises his ministry in two metropolitan cathedrals, his achievement in restoring the building of St Paul’s Cathedral and his ministry which built up the attendances and finances in Melbourne.

Richardson was for 10 years the clerical representative for Australia on the Anglican Consultative Council (1992–2002). For 25 years he also served on the Australian National Liturgical Commission and was its executive secretary for 15 years. He also served for 15 years on an ecumenical body, the Australian Consultation on Liturgy.

Anglican Centre in Rome[edit]

In December 2007, Richardson was appointed as the representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to the Holy See and the director of the Anglican Centre in Rome. He was installed in his new position by Archbishop Williams on 7 May 2008 in a ceremony in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.[2]

Richardson retired in April 2013 and was succeeded by Archbishop David Moxon.[3]

Honours and awards[edit]

Richardson was installed as an honorary provincial canon of Canterbury Cathedral on 5 June 2010.[4]

He was appointed an officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours (UK) for services to strengthening relations between the UK, the Anglican Communion and the Holy See.[5][6]

He was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2016 Australia Day Honours for distinguished service to religion and to the Anglican Church of Australia, through international representational, ecumenical development and interfaith co-operation roles.[7]

Richardson is also a chaplain of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Order of St John) (ChStJ).


Richardson's interests include poetry, cooking, cars, cricket, goats and gardening.


  1. ^ Project Canterbury Cable Clerical Index
  2. ^ Anglican Communion News Service: Archbishop of Canterbury - 'friendly meeting' with Pope Benedict
  3. ^ [1] Anglicancentre.churchinsight.com. 2013. Anglican Centre in Rome : DJ Richardson OBE. [online] Available at: http://anglicancentre.churchinsight.com/Articles/360925/Anglican_Centre_in/Our_story/Director_and_Staff/Former_Director/DJ_Richardson_OBE.aspx [Accessed: 16 Jun 2013].
  4. ^ Centro newsletter, April 2010
  5. ^ "No. 60534". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 2013. p. 25. 
  6. ^ [2] The Guardian. 2013. Queen's birthday honours list 2013: Diplomatic. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/15/queens-birthday-honours-diplomatic [Accessed: 16 June 2013].
  7. ^ Australia Day 2016 Honours Lists

External links[edit]

Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
James Grant
Dean of Melbourne
Succeeded by
Mark Burton
Preceded by
John Flack
Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome and the
Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the Holy See

Succeeded by
David Moxon