Michael Sadgrove

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Michael Sadgrove
Dean of Durham
VTEC + V Rev Michael Sadgrove 3.jpg
Sadgrove naming a Virgin Trains East Coast locomotive at Durham railway station in 2015.
ChurchChurch of England
DioceseDiocese of Durham
In office2003–31 December 2015 (retired)
PredecessorJohn Arnold
SuccessorAndrew Tremlett
Other postsDean of Sheffield (1995–2003)
Ordination1975 (deacon)
1976 (priest)
Personal details
EducationUniversity College School
Alma materBalliol College, Oxford

Michael Sadgrove (born 13 April 1950) is a Church of England priest and noted theological author. Between 2003 and 2015, he was Dean of Durham.[1][2][3] From 1995 to 2003, he was Dean of Sheffield Cathedral.[4] He is now Dean Emeritus of Durham.

Early life[edit]

Sadgrove was born on 13 April 1950 of mixed Anglican-Jewish parentage. He was educated at University College School, an independent school in London.[5] He first studied mathematics and philosophy, followed by further studies in theology at Balliol College, Oxford,[6][7] and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1971; as per tradition, his BA was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA Oxon) degree in 1975. In 1972, he entered Trinity College, Bristol, an Evangelical Anglican theological college, to train for ordained ministry.[6]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Sadgrove was ordained in the Church of England: made a deacon at Petertide 1975 (29 June) at St Andrew's Church, Headington,[8] and ordained a priest the Petertide following (13 June 1976) at Balliol College Chapel, both times by Peter Walker, Bishop of Dorchester.[9] He held permission to officiate in the Diocese of Oxford from 1975 to 1977,[6] and served his curacy at St Andrew's Headington where he was ordained deacon.[10] He was a Tutor in Old Testament studies at Sarum College from 1977 until 1982 and an honorary Vicar Choral at Salisbury Cathedral.[7] He was then the Vicar of Alnwick, Northumberland, between 1982 and 1987.[11] From 1987 to 1995 he was Vice Provost, a Canon Residentiary and Precentor at Coventry Cathedral.[12]

Between 1995 and 2003, he was Provost, then Dean from 13 April 2000, of Sheffield Cathedral.[13] In October 2002, it was announced that he would be moving to Durham Cathedral as their new dean. He was installed as Dean of Durham in March 2003.[14] During his incumbency, the Cathedral initiated a major development project "Open Treasure", a reconfiguring of the historic spaces round the cloister as an interpretation of the North East's Christian heritage. He played a significant part in bringing the Lindisfarne Gospels back to their historic home for a three-month residency in Durham during 2013. Sadgrove briefly achieved national prominence in the same year when he wrote an open letter questioning the political attitudes of the then manager of Sunderland FC, Paulo di Canio. In March 2015, it was announced that he would be retiring from full-time ministry.[7] He led his final service as Dean on 27 September 2015.[15] He officially retired on 31 December 2015.[16]

As Dean of Durham, he was an ex officio a governor of Durham University. He continues to be Rector (titular head) of St Chad's College, Durham.[11] In early 2016 prior to the UK referendum on membership of the European Union, he launched "Christians for Europe" advocating the UK's continued membership of the EU from a Christian perspective.

Personal life[edit]

Sadgrove is married and has four children; three daughters and a son.[7][14] His wife is a psychotherapist.[7] He lives in Northumberland where he continues to be engaged in theological writing and speaking, church matters, European issues, arts and heritage, and the culture of North East England. He blogs regularly on a variety of subjects.

On 9 June 2011, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of County Durham,[17] a title he relinquished on leaving the County on his retirement.

Selected works[edit]

  • Sadgrove, Michael (1992). Coventry Cathedral. Pitkin Pictorials. ISBN 0853724571.
  • Sadgrove, Michael (1995). A picture of faith: a meditation on the imagery of Christ in glory. Kevin Mayhew. ISBN 0862095263
  • Sadgrove, Michael (2006). The Eight Words of Jesus in the Passion according to St John. London: SPCK. ISBN 0281058733.
  • Sadgrove, Michael (2008). Wisdom and ministry: the call to leadership. London: SPCK. ISBN 0281059977.
  • Sadgrove, Michael (2009). I will trust in you: a companion to the evening Psalms. London: SPCK. ISBN 028105987X.
  • Michael, Sadgrove; Nixon, Philip (2013). Durham cathedral: a pilgrimage in photographs. Amberley Publishing. ISBN 1445613166.
  • Sadgrove, Michael Sadgrove; Horsler, Val; Tristram, Kate (2013). Landscapes of faith: the Christian heritage of the North East. London: Third Millennium. ISBN 1906507899.
  • Sadgrove, Michael (2015). Christ in a Choppie Box: sermons from North East England. Sacristy Press. ISBN 9781910519103.


  1. ^ Durham Cathedral web-site
  2. ^ "New dean for Durham". BBC. 22 October 2002.
  3. ^ Dean of Durham retires retrieved 28 September 2015
  4. ^ Who's Who 2008: London, A & C Black ISBN 978-0-7136-8555-8
  5. ^ Who's Who 2012 – SADGROVE, Michael
  6. ^ a b c "Michael Sadgrove". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e Havery, Gavin (15 March 2015). "Dean of Durham announces plans to retire". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Petertide ordinations". Church Times (#5864). 4 July 1975. p. 15. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 24 May 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  9. ^ "Petertide ordinations". Church Times (#5916). 2 July 1976. p. 8. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 24 May 2019 – via UK Press Online archives.
  10. ^ Sadgrove, Michael (27 September 2015). "Sermon: All in the End is Harvest". Durham Cathedral. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
  11. ^ a b "The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, MA, FRSA". Durham University. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  12. ^ "Coventry Cathedral" Sadgrove,M: Andover, Pitkin, 1991 ISBN 0-85372-457-1
  13. ^ "Appointments". Church Times (#7156). 14 April 2000. p. 24. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 31 December 2014 – via UK Press Online archives.
  14. ^ a b "New dean for Durham". BBC News. BBC. 22 October 2002. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Dean of Durham Retires". Durham Cathedral. 27 September 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Appointments". The Church Times. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Deputy Lieutenant Commissions". London Gazette (59793). 25 May 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Gladwin
Dean of Sheffield
Succeeded by
Peter Bradley
Preceded by
John Arnold
Dean of Durham
Succeeded by
Andrew Tremlett