After 14 years as chairman of the Bradford Cathedral Council Arthur Francis will retire from the role when this current term of office comes to an end on March 31.

On Sunday at Evensong at 4pm in the Cathedral members of the Chapter, College of Canons, Council and congregation will gather together to say thank you for all that he has given to the Cathedral over the years.

Prof Francis was Dean of Bradford University School of Management for 12 years until his retirement in August 2010 and is currently Emeritus Professor at the School.

Prior to that he was Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Glasgow, where he was also Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Before Glasgow, he held posts at Imperial College Management School, Nuffield College, Oxford, and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He has researched and published extensively in the areas of strategic management and the management of technology and innovation, and remains active professionally, currently being dean of the College of Fellows of the British Academy of Management.

Prof Francis, of Addingham, said: “It has been a great privilege to have been associated with the Cathedral in this way for so many years and to have worked with three bishops and four deans in seeing the Cathedral initially through difficult times and now firing on all cylinders.

“With so many new opportunities and challenges arising from the creation of the new large-scale diocese now is an appropriate time to hand over to someone who will be able to offer guidance in the formulation of new strategies and see through their implementation.

“Dean Jerry and his team are supremely well-equipped to lead the cathedral through this next phase and they, and my successor, will be in my thoughts and prayers as they shape a cathedral fit for its purpose in Bradford in the 21st century.”

Bishop Nick Baines said: “Professor Francis has been a wonderfully faithful, sharp and wise Chair of the Cathedral Council and I am very grateful for all that he has given to this significant role.”

Dean Jerry Lepine added: “In the few months that I have been in Bradford I have appreciated Arthur’s deep care of and commitment to the Cathedral. There have been some really difficult times over the years and yet Arthur has always had the best interests of the Cathedral at heart.

“Personally, he has been a delight to get to know and I shall miss his wry sense of humour and alert questioning! He goes into retirement with our love and prayers.”

A new chairman will be announced shortly.