[Washington National Cathedral] The Very Rev. Gary Hall, tenth dean of the Washington National Cathedral, announced Aug. 18 that he will retire on December 31.
“Over the past three years, the bishop, the staff, the chapter, and I have done the hard work of placing the cathedral on solid financial footing: Our budget is balanced and we are closing the books on our most successful year in recent history,” wrote Hall, who became dean on October 1, 2012, in a letter to the cathedral community.
“The cathedral, however, is on the cusp of a new era. The next decades will require both the continuing evolution of its internal culture as it contends with the changing face of American religion and our country’s increasing diversity, and a major capital campaign,” wrote Hall. Continuing this progress at the cathedral will require a leader who can commit at least a decade to the job, he said. “[A]t the age of 66, with two years remaining on my contract, I am not the person for the job ahead.”
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of Washington, will serve as interim dean beginning January 1. The search for Hall’s successor will begin in September and will be conducted by a search committee that she and the chapter will appoint.
“With both sadness and gratitude, we have received the Very Rev. Gary Hall’s notice that he will be retiring as dean of Washington National Cathedral at the end of this year: sadness because Gary is a principled and creative colleague; gratitude because he has accomplished much in his three years as dean,” wrote Budde and David J. Kautter, chair of the Cathedral’s chapter, in a letter. “One of the hallmarks of a leader is the wisdom to discern when to lead and, just as importantly, when to allow the mantle of leadership to be taken up by someone else. Gary is such a leader, and we are thankful for his attentiveness to God’s call.”
In retirement, Hall will continue to be involved with the cathedral, including leading a pilgrimage to the island of Iona in Scotland in the spring of 2016. He will also return periodically to preach and teach, said Budde and Kautter.
The Washington National Cathedral is the cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and the seat of both the bishop of Washington and the presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. It is governed by its dean and the Cathedral Chapter, and is also overseen by the trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Church Foundation.