The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis, the 39th Dean of Canterbury, was installed in July 2001. He had previously been Dean of Hereford for nine years and has been Chairman of the Deans’ Conference of the Church of England since 1999 and a member of the General Synod since 1985. He is an honorary Doctor of Divinity of Yale University and Doctor of Civil Law of the University of Kent.
In 2008 he was made a Freeman of the City of Canterbury and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent. In 2012 he was awarded the Cross of St Augustine for services to the Anglican Communion and is a Knight of the Order of St John. He has written many hymns and contributed to the recent editions of Hymns Ancient & Modern and New English Praise.