THE Very Reverend June Osborne was appointed as The Dean of Salisbury Cathedral in February 2004, making her the Church of England’s most senior woman priest.

This was the first and only appointment of a woman dean by the crown. Her installation on May 1 that year also made her the first female dean to hold the post in the cathedral’s 749-year history.

After graduating in social sciences from Manchester University, June went on to train in the Church’s ministry at St John’s College, Nottingham and Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. In 1980 she took up the post of Deaconess of St Martin-in- the-Bullring in Birmingham moving on to the East London Old Ford parishes in 1984.

In 1994 she was one of the first women to be ordained into the priesthood, and moved to Salisbury in 1995.

June is married to barrister Paul Goulding QC and they have two teenage children. She has an interest in the arts and in football – being a lifelong supporter of Manchester City and, due to a mixed marriage, a season ticket holder of Tottenham Hotspur.

Who was your childhood hero and why?

Helen Keller: her story was my introduction to the extraordinary courage and achievement of people who are disabled.

What was the first record/CD you bought?

Tea Time in Tokyo by Helmut Zacharias.

What is the radio/television show you hate to miss?

Grey’s Anatomy.

What is your favourite film?


If you could change one thing about the place where you live, what would it be?

I’d improve the mobile phone signal on SW trains.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Ghost Road by Pat Barker.

What is your favourite word?


Is there a place in the world you would like to visit above all others?

Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

What do you wish you were good at?


If you had a million pounds to give away what would you do with the money?

Give it to the major repair programme of the cathedral to help get rid of the scaffolding.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?

Walter Tull, the professional footballer who was the first black officer in the British Army.

If you were stranded on a desert island what luxury would you choose to have with you?

A fully equipped bathroom.

What would you never leave home without?

My keys.

What sports team do you support?

Manchester City FC.

If you could make or change any law, what would it be?

I would give churches exemption from VAT on the repairs they do to their historic buildings.

What was your first job?

A Saturday assistant at Woolworth’s.

What one thing could change society for the better?


Is it ever acceptable to break the law?

Yes, for conscientious reasons, but you should then accept your punishment.

How did you meet your significant other?

At Stevenage Railway Station.