Former Chartered Surveyor to be Cathedral Canon
On Sunday 19th February, the Reverend Philip Banks was installed as a Residentiary Canon and the Precentor of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. This special service of Choral Evensong was attended by many of Philip’s friends and family as well as congregation members from his former parish in Coggeshall, Essex, in addition to the Cathedral community and local people. It was a service of celebration and welcome.
As Precentor at St Edmundsbury Cathedral Philip will have principal oversight of the liturgical, musical and artistic life of the Cathedral. He was formerly Rector of Marks Hall and Vicar of Coggeshall where he led a number of initiatives such as the appointment of a full-time youthworker, the installation of a new organ case and reintroduction of regular Choral Evensong, the development of a team of ministers and laity, First Communion for children before Confirmation and a regular Family Mass and orchestra, as well as the restoration, re-lighting and redecoration of the chancel.
Commenting on his new appointment, Philip says;
‘It is a huge privilege to be asked by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich to minister as a canon at the Cathedral and to share with the people of the diocese in the ministry of Christ, and I greatly look forward to working with everyone here. These are challenging and exciting times in which to live and I believe that the Cathedral, with its many links in Bury and all over the county and beyond, is a fantastic symbol to all people of God’s love and Christ's presence in our lives.’
Philip moves to Bury St Edmunds with his wife, Janet, and their two sons, Ben and Samuel.
Some brief biographical notes:-
• Philip served as Rector of Marks Hall and Vicar of Coggeshall since July 2003, and as Rural Dean since 2008.
• He has also been responsible for the Chelmsford Course for Spiritual Directors for many years, and chaired the Diocesan Spirituality Advisors’ Group.
• Prior to this, Philip was Bishop of Chelmsford's Chaplain and Media Officer, and also the priest at Elmstead Market. He served his curacy in the early 1990s in Chelmsford and Brentwood.
• Before ordination Philip was a Chartered Surveyor, latterly working for a local authority as Principal Estates Surveyor in Hertfordshire.
• He and Janet were married in Wanstead in 1987 and Ben and Samuel were born in 1999 and 2001 respectively.
• In his spare time Philip enjoys juggling, walking the family’s rescue greyhound, music and reading a good book.