Honorary degree from Ulster University for former Dean of Belfast

Thursday June 28th 2018

The Rev John Mann, former Dean of Belfast, is to be awarded an Honorary degree by Ulster University.

Former Dean of Belfast, the Rev John Mann, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Ulster University at a ceremony in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, on Wednesday July 4.

John will be joined by a host of other names being honoured by the university, including Derry actress Bronagh Gallagher, superbike racing champion Jonathon Rea, and the Director General of the BBC, Tony Hall.

The former Dean, who spent most of his ministry in Connor Diocese, will be recognised for his civic contributions.

John was Dean of Belfast for six years before moving to Dorset last September to take up the post of team rector of the Parish of Swanage with Studland.

Earlier this year, John was awarded The Lambeth Cross by the Archbishop of Canterbury for his ecumenical work in Belfast.

At the ceremony on July 4, he will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt). 

“His tenure as Dean of Belfast was marked by building relationships and fostering a sense of community within the regular congregation. In 2017 he installed the first Roman Catholic priest as an ecumenical canon in addition to previously installed Presbyterian and Methodist ministers,” the award citation reads.

“Under his leadership, Belfast Cathedral has become a focus for civic events and as a sacred civic space. Over the past three years’ thousands have visited the Cathedral and guided tours and school visits to the Cathedral are also now regular daily features.

“He also has worked tirelessly with other religious leaders in Belfast and has made a profound contribution to the civic understanding and acceptance of the concept of a Cathedral Quarter, and has ensured that the Cathedral remains at the heart of it.

“John has also raised over one million pounds for local charities, during his pre-Christmas (Black Santa) sit-out for charity.”

Commenting on the recipients of the Honorary degrees, Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paddy Nixon said: “Each year thousands of students graduate from Ulster University ready to make a positive contribution to society.  In doing so, it is important that they have role models they can look to who are making a real difference in the world around them.

“Our honorary graduates demonstrate leadership, integrity and progressive thinking, determination, talent and creativity all of which are central to the core values and character of the University.

“Those who are being honoured also represent a diverse range of sectors locally and globally in which our graduates are employed and are individuals who can only inspire our students as they begin to shape their own future paths and direction.”

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