Senior Chaplain - Rev. Ian Gulland

In 2023 we welcomed our new Chaplain, Ian Gulland, who arrived with his wife Victoria and three young boys. 

Ian has three Masters degrees - in Engineering (Sheffield), Business (Florida) and Theology (Oxford) with a varied career to date in several sectors including engineering, finance, consulting and the public sector. He has lived and worked in the USA, Asia, Middle East and South America and says: “The best office I ever had was when I spent a year as an outdoor instructor in the Scottish Highlands after finishing university!”

For the past eight years Ian has been involved in serving and growing churches in Cornwall, most recently in Padstow. We asked him a few questions:

What do you love most about your vocation?

That's a good question! Firstly, I love that it is a vocation (a calling, rather than a career). I get to do what I really enjoy, which is being around people and helping them discover their gifts and flourish. Most importantly, I enjoy talking about my faith and Jesus.

Why do you want to work as a school chaplain?

Being part of a community (which Dean Close is) is important and I enjoy being around young people- they ask the best questions!

What attracted you to the Dean Close Foundation?

In addition to its great reputation in sports and academics (among many other things), its foundational purpose and values are Christ-centred and fantastically positive.  The Foundation's moto says it all "Verbum Dei Lucerna" God's word, a guiding light. My job and the role of the chaplaincy is to ensure that light is bright and clear.

What do you aspire to bring to the Dean Close Foundation?

A sense of fun and an openness to explore faith.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy a variety of sports, from mountaineering and skiing, to sailing and surfing.

Watch our Chaplaincy Video


The School Chapel is located in the centre of the School campus.  Regular chapel services are taken by the School Chaplain with considerable contributions from staff, pupils and visiting speakers. The building itself stands as a memorial to Old Decanians who gave their lives in the First World War, and has been adorned by the recently built Poppy Cloister showcasing 128 poppies (one for each OD who fell) from the emotive Tower of London display. The Chapel Choir is very accomplished, leading worship regularly in chapel and at a range of abbeys and cathedrals, and most recently singing Evensong at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Our hope for every service is that it will serve our School community by giving life and health in a variety of ways.

For many, the reflection facilitated during the services allows for a necessary pause in the middle of their busy week. For others, the beauty of the hymnody and choral pieces bring real rest and joy. And for some, the chance to hear Scripture read and explained in engaging, contemporary and relevant ways can be life-changing and life-enhancing.

Besides red letter annual services such as Remembrance, Confirmation and our much-loved Carols by Candlelight, the Senior School bookends the week with a shorter service on Monday mornings and a longer Service of the Word on Friday evenings, with a lively congregational practice on Wednesdays thrown in for good measure. Pupils and staff are also welcome to join us for a reflective service of Holy Communion fortnightly on Friday mornings. The Prep School meets for worship in the Chapel at the start of every term, and immediately prior to exeats and holidays; we’re delighted to welcome parents to join us at these services. The Pre-Prep enjoys an annual Christingle service in the Chapel.