Our Governance

The legal name of Durham Cathedral is the Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham.

It is governed by two bodies, which together form the corporate body of the cathedral - the Chapter and the College of Canons. They are supported by other statutory and non-statutory committees.

The Chapter

The Chapter provides strategic leadership and direction for the cathedral. It is made up of:

  • The Dean
  • Residentiary Canons
  • Up to four Lay Members, who are communicants of the Church of England

The College of Canons

Clergy and Lay people drawn from the parish churches of the Diocese of Durham, to assist the Chapter in its relations with the local parishes.


  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Fabric Advisory Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Investment Committee

The Bishop

The Bishop is the ‘Visitor’ of the cathedral.

The Dean

The Dean is the senior member of clergy who chairs the Chapter and leads on strategy and direction.

The Chapter Clerk & Chief Operating Officer

The Chapter Clerk & Chief Operating Officer is the most senior layperson, responsible for day to day operation of the cathedral.

The organisational structure of Durham Cathedral

Around 150 people are employed by the cathedral, covering a huge variety of roles. Departments include:

  • Visitor Experience & Enterprise - oversight of front of house, the shop and café, events and education.
  • Fabric and Collections - oversight of the fabric of the building, the works yard, Durham Cathedral Library, collections and security.
  • Mission and Ministry - oversight of services, worship, music and the cathedral choir.
  • Support Services - led by the Chapter Clerk & Chief Operating Officer, with oversight of teams in the Chapter Clerk’s Office, Finance, Marketing & Digital, Development & Strategy and HR & OD.