Leicester – The Bishop of Leicester has announced a significant appointment in the city's ecclesiastical community. Revd Canon Karen Rooms, who has been serving as the Acting Dean of Leicester since January 2023, is set to become the new Dean of Leicester. This appointment marks her as the third individual to assume this prestigious role.
Before her elevation to Acting Dean earlier this year, Revd Canon Rooms had been an integral part of Leicester Cathedral's leadership team. She held the positions of Sub Dean and Canon Missioner since her arrival in Leicester in 2016. Beyond her roles within the Cathedral, she has actively contributed to the Diocese, notably as the Women’s Ministry Enabler and a founding figure in the Leicester Citizens community organizing alliance.
Revd Canon Rooms shared insights into her journey and vision for the future in a recent interview. Her path to priesthood is notably diverse. Prior to her ordination in 2006, she held roles in sales and marketing with Procter and Gamble, and logistics with Boots. A transformative period of her life was the seven years spent in northern Tanzania with her family, where she immersed herself in the local culture and established a café business in the heart of Tanzania’s coffee industry, Moshi.
Upon returning to the UK, her commitment to community service shone through her volunteer work with Citizen’s Advice and her training for ordination in the Church of England. Her ministry in Leicester was preceded by significant roles in Nottingham, where she served as a parish priest in inner-city parishes and as the Area Dean of Nottingham South. Her work in community organising, particularly with Nottingham Citizens, significantly shaped her approach to ministry.
Expressing her affection for Leicester, Revd Canon Rooms highlighted the city’s diversity and cultural vibrancy, from its culinary delights to its rich arts scene. Her vision for Leicester Cathedral is one of inclusivity and engagement. She envisages a Cathedral bustling with visitors of all ages, a place where everyone feels the embrace of God and a sense of belonging. Her ambition is to see the Cathedral grow as a centre of worship, justice, and mission, and to further integrate it into the heart of the city, county, and diocese.
As she prepares to take on her role as Dean, Revd Canon Rooms is particularly excited about the reopening of the Cathedral and the completion of the new Heritage and Learning Centre. Her focus remains on fostering an intercultural worshipping community and building partnerships to contribute to Leicester’s overall flourishing.
This new chapter under Revd Canon Rooms' leadership promises a dynamic and inclusive future for Leicester Cathedral, reflecting her deep commitment to community, justice, and spiritual growth.