Family hat-trick as Mark becomes a Canon


The Humphriss family was celebrating on Saturday as they now have a trio of canons in their tribe.

Mark Humphriss, who became our Diocesan Secretary in July, joined his father, the Revd Canon Reg Humphriss, and sister, Clare Turnbull, as a Cathedral Canon.

Rev Rachel Carnegie, Rev Dr Phillip Tovey, Mark Humphriss, Rev Felicity Scroggie, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher (Bishop of Dorchester), the Very Revd Martyn Percy (Dean), Rosemary Tucker, Darren Oliver (Diocesan Registrar), Rev David Tyler, Rev Toby Wright.
Photo: Steven Buckley

When they are installed, Lay and Honorary Canons become members of the College of Canons. These are people who have given distinguished service to the Church and serve as ambassadors for their Cathedral in their parish, life or ministry.

Mark was installed a Canon in a special ceremony at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday (January 25). “I feel really humbled to be invited so early on in my time in the role to receive this honour alongside people who have done amazing things across the Diocese,” says Mark.

Reg was installed as a Canon of Canterbury Cathedral by Archbishop Robert Runcie in 1985. He had first worked as a Youth Chaplain and part of the Education Team in 1963. After spells in two parishes, one in Faversham and another in Croydon, he returned to Canterbury in 1976.  Reg was the Rector of St Martin’s (the oldest church in England in continual use) and St Paul’s, and then in Saltwood. When he retired in 2001 he was installed Canon Emeritus and remains active, regularly taking services in Canterbury Cathedral and across Canterbury Diocese.

Clare has been Head of Lanesborough School, the Choir School for Guildford Cathedral, for 13 years. She was installed as a Lay Canon of Guildford Cathedral in 2012 in recognition of the close work and support that the school provides for the boy choristers.

“The organist of the Cathedral and I work very closely together to ensure that all safeguarding, pastoral, academic and practical arrangements are covered so that our boys can thrive both at school and the cathedral,” says Clare.

Reg added: “I am delighted that Mark joins Clare and me to become a trio of canons in one family. My only sadness is that my late wife Sue was not at the service in person, as I am sure that she would join me in saying how delighted we are and grateful for the opportunity of service it affords to those in the church and the community.”

Mark joined us directly from being University Secretary for the University of Bath. The former Reading University student has previously held significant roles working for the national Church. Read more about Mark here.

Check out our Facebook gallery of photos from Saturday’s service.


Honours for services to the Church

FIVE new Honorary Canons and two new Lay Canons have been installed at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral at a special ceremony in January. In the same ceremony, three people were admitted to the Order of St Frideswide.

Canons are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider Church. Similarly, the Order of St Frideswide is a recognition of those who have made a distinctive and significant contribution to the life and well-being of the Diocese.

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, said: “We are hugely blessed in this Diocese to have so many people, lay and ordained, who do so much in their churches, their communities, and beyond. I am delighted that this service allows us to say thank you to some of those people for the outstanding work they have done and are doing to make a difference.”

Below are biographies of our new Canons.

Lay Canons:

Mark Humphriss
As Diocesan Secretary since July, Mark leads the staff team at Church House and has a key role in the diocesan strategy Common Vision becoming real across the diocese.  Previously he was University Secretary at the University of Bath. Mark has also worked for the Archbishops’ Council, Lambeth Palace and Church Urban Fund. Mark, a former Reading University student,  is married to Rachel. The couple have two teenage sons.  Mark is also Vice-Chair of the charity Designability, a trustee of the Holburne Museum and enjoys the theatre, concerts and holidays to interesting places.

Rosemary Tucker
Rosemary grew up in Kent and began her career in retail. She volunteered for Oxfam before becoming a secretary for the charity in the London office, and then a trainer and facilitator in the Oxford HQ. She was head of training and HR Director for Oxfam before becoming the Director of Mission Resources at USPG. She then became the Director of the Mission Resource Department at USPG. She became an independent consultant in 2002 working with hospices, colleges, charities and the Church. “Throughout all my time in Oxfordshire, the Diocese of Oxford has been a place of learning, support, prayer and development as a parishioner and in my work as a Ministry Accompanier, Spiritual Director, Supervisor, Trainer and Facilitator,” says Rosemary, who has travelled extensively in her various roles.

Honorary Canons

The Revd David Tyler
David has been Rector of Hanborough and Freeland for over 12 years and has twice acted as Area Dean of Woodstock. For the last year-and-a-half, he has acted as Assistant Archdeacon of Dorchester. David is a member of the Diocesan Audit Committee and has served as a governor at two Church schools. He sits on the Board of Members for the Eynsham Partnership Academy. He is married to Catherine, a Clinical Psychologist and they have two children, Josh who is reading Chemistry at Bristol and Charlotte who is sitting GCSEs at The Kings School, Witney. In his spare time, David enjoys exercising his Cocker Spaniel, Poppy and hill walking.

The Revd Dr Phillip Tovey
Phillip, the Warden of Readers for the Diocese and Principal of the Local Ministry Pathway, was born in Oxford. After university in London, he worked in various lay capacities for eight years, including with CMS in Uganda. Ordained in the diocese, he was a curate in Buckinghamshire and a vicar in Banbury and Oxfordshire. For the last 21 years, he has worked in training ministers (lay and ordained). He is interested in liturgy and has written several books. He also likes walking and rugby.

The Revd Felicity Scroggie
Felicity grew up in East Yorkshire and studied at Oxford University, and St Andrews’s in Scotland. A law lecturer, she then worked in a prison education department, and for the London Diocese training churchgoers in urban priority areas before ordination. She continued to serve in the capital before becoming the Team Rector of Kidlington, Oxfordshire. Last year Felicity was appointed Bishop Steven’s first Advisor in Women’s Ministry. She has a Labrador, Harvey, is passionate about horses and is married to Justin.

The Revd Toby Wright
Toby has been the Team Rector of the Witney Benefice since 2009. From 2013-2019 he was Area Dean of Witney Deanery and has served on Bishop’s Council, Diocesan Synod and the Board of Mission. He is a trustee of the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Wantage. Currently, Toby is enjoying a placement with the RAF looking at strategy in organisations and is studying Bowen’s Family Systems Theory. Before coming to Witney, Toby was Parish Priest of Saint John Chrysostom with Saint Andrew in Peckham, South London and Area Dean of Camberwell and was a national director of Affirming Catholicism and Chaired Fresh Expressions Roundtable 5.

The Revd Rachel Carnegie
Rachel Carnegie is the Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance, which helps to connect, equip and inspire churches and agencies around the worldwide Anglican Communion in tackling poverty and injustice and safeguarding creation. Previously she served as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for International Development. Rachel has worked in international development since 1985. She was ordained priest in 2005 in the Diocese of Southwark. Rachel is married and has two adult children. In 2017 the family moved to Dorchester, where Rachel also assists the ministry team.

Order of St Frideswide

Martin Conway
Martin brought to the Diocese of Oxford a wealth of ecumenical experience gained in the World Church through working as a layman in the Student Christian Movement, the World Student Christian Federation, the World Council of Churches, the British Council of Churches, Ripon College, Cuddesdon and the Selly Oak Colleges. He gained additional insights by acting as a simultaneous interpreter at ecumenical assemblies and as Chair of the Friends of the Church in China. Having retired to Oxford in 1997 he then served as Chair of the Diocesan Board of Social Responsibility and on Bishop’s Council.

Ruth Conway
Ruth founded the network of Design & Technology teachers focussing on the impact of technology on people and the environment. Inspired by the 5th Mark of Mission (to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain and renew the life of the earth) Ruth led the Education Group of the European Christian Environmental Network, was involved in the Environmental Issues Network of the British Churches, the development of Eco-congregation and  Operation Noah. Ruth was an active member of the Diocesan Environment Group and helped organise the 2010 Oxfordshire Leaders Climate Forum. At Parish level, she coordinated the restoration of the SS Mary &  John churchyard in East Oxford from a criminal area to a quiet, green community space.

Rosemary Pearce
Rosemary is being admitted to the Order of St Frideswide in recognition of her service to the Diocese as Diocesan Secretary. Rosemary retired last year after 20 years in the role. Before coming to the Diocese of Oxford, Rosemary was UK Director of the charity Cruse Bereavement Care. She worships at St Mary’s and St John’s Church, Whitchurch-on-Thames. She enjoys travelling in Italy and exploring the Thames and local canals in her kayak.



The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft addresses the new Lay and Honorary Canons at Christ Church during the 2017 service.

Eight people honoured for their work for the Church of England and the Diocese of Oxford

SEVEN new Canons were installed at Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday 28 January. In the same service one new member was admitted to the Order of St Frideswide.

Last year’s Honorary Canons smile for the camera after the annual service.

The Canons are the Revd Jeff West, the Revd Kevin Davies, the Revd Emma Percy and the Revd Canon John Rees. Lay Canons are Sarah Meyrick and Richard Fisher. The Ecumenical Canon is the Revd Dr Ralph Waller. Canons are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church. During the same service Michael Hardman was admitted to the Order of St Frideswide. The order, named after the patron saint of Oxford, was founded in 2001 by the then Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries. It is a way of giving recognition to lay people who have given outstanding service to the Church over many years.


Sarah Meyrick has worked as a journalist, editor and PR professional. She is the Director of Communictions for the Diocese of Oxford and the Director of the Bloxham Festival of Faith and Literature. She lives in Northamptonshire with her husband. Last year she published her first novel, Knowing Anna.

Richard Fisher joined the Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) in 1988, straight after reading Classics at Lady Margaret Hall, which is part of Oxford University. It was originally intended to be a one-year appointment as a gap year before going to theological college, but 28 years later he’s still there. He has led the charity since its relocation to Oxfordshire in 1991. He is married to Karen, who herself was a student at Christ Church, and they have a daughter Hannah and a son Will.

The Revd Jeff West is a social scientist and historian by background, and formerly a director at English Heritage. Jeff has served since 2007 as a self-supporting minister at St Mary’s, Banbury.  Chair of the Cotswolds Conservation Board from 2009-14, he also sits on the Cherwell Local Strategic Partnership and in 2012 was appointed Area Dean of Deddington.

The Revd Kevin Davies attended Maidstone Grammar School, and University College, Oxford, where he graduated in Chemistry in 1984, and served as Junior Dean from 1986-87. He has been in full time Christian ministry since 1987, and after a theology degree from Bristol and ordination in 1993 served parishes in the Bradford and Carlisle Dioceses. He became the Rector of the Langtree Team ministry in 2002, and was the Area Dean of Henley from 2011-2016.

The Revd Emma Percy is Chaplain, Fellow and Welfare Dean of Trinity College, Oxford. She was one of the first generation of women priests in the Church of England and is chair of WATCH (Women And The Church). Her research interests include feminist theology and the practice of ministry. Her two recent books are Mothering as a Metaphor for Ministry, Ashgate, and What Clergy do: especially when it looks like nothing. SPCK.

The Revd Canon John Rees has been involved with the legal aspects of the Diocese for over 30 years, including nearly 20 years as a registrar. He was appointed a ‘Provincial Canon’ of Canterbury Cathedral in 2001, in connection with his work for the Archbishop both nationally and internationally, and made a Chaplain to HM The Queen in 2014.

Michael Hardman was born in India in 1938. After returning to England he became a committed Christian in his late teens through Sutton Crusaders, Surrey. After qualifying as a chartered accountant and marrying Jacquie, who he met at Crusaders, they joined Christ Church, Bristol in 1963, moving to Buckinghamshire in 1966. He became a member of the PCC in Chesham in 1968 and has held treasury roles from then until now, nearly 50 years. He served as Vice-Chair of the Oxfordshire Diocesan Board of Finance for 15 years.

Ralph Waller has been  the Principal of Harris Manchester College since 1988.  He is a Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Director of the Farmington Institute for Christian Studies.  He researches on eighteenth and nineteenth-century church history and religious thought.  He is a Methodist Minister who has written extensively on John Wesley.