The Prime Minister's office has moved swiftly to confirm the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John of Southwark Cathedral as the new Dean of St Albans following reports in the weekend papers that a statement was due later this week.
Shortly after the Downing Street announcement, Canon John was welcomed to St Albans Cathedral by the Bishop of St Albans Christopher Herbert and acting Dean Stephen Lake.
Speaking in the cathedral's Lady Chapel Bishop Herbert said: "I warmly welcome this appointment. Jeffrey John has a well-deserved reputation for being a good, caring pastor.
"He is an intelligent, courageous priest who will follow a long line of superb Deans of St Albans and will bring to the Abbey a wide range of gifts. He is a man of prayer, a preacher and teacher of real authority and grace."
Canon Jeffrey John said: "I am honoured to be appointed Dean of St Albans, and am grateful to the Crown and to the Bishop of St Albans for placing such a degree of confidence in me.
"The Cathedral is a wonderful and holy place. I will be proud to be part of it, and hope I can help further its work and witness."
Canon Stephen Lake, Acting Dean of St Albans, said: "We are delighted to have a new Dean. I am sure the Abbey community will welcome Canon John. We look forward to sharing in this new ministry, in this unique place."
Jeffrey John's installation as Dean is likely to be during the autumn.
On hearing the news of Jeffrey's appointment, the Bishop of Southwark said: "I am pleased to learn that Dr Jeffrey John has been appointed as the new Dean of St Albans Abbey. The Abbey and the Diocese of St Albans will benefit greatly from his gifts, experience and dedication. I am grateful to him for all that he has contributed to the Diocese of Southwark."