First woman vicar appointed at Lancaster Priory

History has been made with the appointment of the first woman vicar of Lancaster.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 4:55 am
Canon Leah Vasey-Saunders. Photo: Wakefield Cathedral
Canon Leah Vasey-Saunders. Photo: Wakefield Cathedral

Canon Leah Vasey-Saunders is moving from Wakefield Cathedral, where she has been Canon Precentor for the past five years.

She is married with four children and expects to be inducted at Lancaster Priory in late August or early September.

Canon Vasey-Saunders succeeds Canon Chris Newlands, who retired as vicar in January after 11 years.

She grew up in Grimsby, studied music at Hudderfield University, then theology at Durham University and became a priest in 2004.

Her appointment was announced both at Lancaster Priory and Wakefield Cathedral on Sunday.

A statement by Wakefield Cathedral said: "Leah has been a wonderful colleague and friend to many in the cathedral, city and diocese and we will miss her energy, warmth and liturgical imagination."

Her husband, Dr Mark Vasey-Saunders, is also a priest and has been academic tutor at St Hild Theological College in Yorkshire since 2017.

They have three sons and a daughter aged 17 to 11.