The honour is in recognition of Philip’s commitment to the local community and his dedication to creating knowledge and enriching lives.
Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Very Reverend Dr Philp Hesketh to our University community.
“Encapsulating our own University mission, his work is dedicated to transforming lives through knowledge and building a sustainable future. Throughout his time at Rochester Cathedral he has ensured that it has become an engaging public space that is for the benefit of everyone and supports community cohesion.”
Philip was ordained in 1994 and served his title in the Diocese of Canterbury and became Vicar of St. Stephen's, Chatham in the Rochester Diocese in 1998. He was appointed to Rochester Cathedral as Canon Pastor in 2005, and Dean in June 2016.
Under his leadership the Crypt has been transformed into an engaging exhibition space where the famous Textus Roffensis or Book of Rochester, one of the most important of all medieval manuscripts containing a compilation of early English laws dating as far back as the year 7th century, is now displayed.
However, Philip has made sure the Cathedral is about more than just the past. His work and ideas have captivated the local community and thousands of visitors from across the world. He has delivered adventure golf in the nave, which had an underlying educational purpose of encouraging women into engineering.
Other memorable exhibitions have included the popular Museum of the Moon, the display of Gaia, a 7 metre diameter exact replica of earth transported from COP26, and a beautiful display of peace doves at a time of renewed war in Europe. The Cathedral currently hosts the ‘Nation’s Table’, made of 5000-year-old fossilized black oak and over 13m long, around which a great number of events are planned.
Philip is also a Kent Ambassador and was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent in 2019.