Five people honoured for services to the Church

Nine people receive special honours for their services to the Church

A ‘pop up vicar’ from the Midsomer Murders, as well as people who work tirelessly against social injustices, and provide  a myriad of support to the Church were honoured in a special service at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday (January 27).

Six people were made Honorary Canons of the Cathedral. Canons are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church. During the same service four people were 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.


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

 Honorary Canons:

The Revd Tim Harper
I enjoy being Rector and Co-Area Dean of Amersham and a member of the Diocesan Board of Education, looking after 285 church schools. My particular role is as SIAMS (church school) Inspector. I am also the ‘pop up vicar’ and play other small roles in the last 10 series of Midsomer Murders.

The Revd Terrie Robinson
As Director for Women in Church & Society at the Anglican Communion Office serving the world-wide Communion, Terrie works with women and men around the Communion to promote the full inclusion of women’s gifts, voices and concerns in the decision-making processes of the Communion, and to encourage awareness, theological reflection and responses to gender-based injustices within and beyond our Churches. She also collaborates with ecumenical and inter-faith coalitions, and UN and governmental bodies concerned with gender equality. Terrie is an Associate Priest at St Luke’s Maidenhead.

John Paton
John Paton hails from Devon and studied at Merton College, Oxford. He worked in the legal office of HM Customs and Excise before training for ordination at St Stephen’s House. John served his title in Sherborne Abbey and later became the Succentor of Southwark Cathedral and a chaplain to medical students. He was the priest of St Mark’s Purley and more recently the Precentor of Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral. He is soon to move to become the Priest in Charge of the Sulhamstead Abbots and Bannister with Ufton Nervet Benefice.

Maranda St John Nicolle
Maranda works on world mission and development for the Diocese of Oxford and is Director of Christian Concern for One World. Both roles involve working with others, locally and globally, to provide resources for prayer and action on such topics as trade, care for the environment, corporate responsibility, and forced migration.

Jane Kennedy
Jane is an architect and partner of Purcell. As Foundation Architect to Christ Church Catheral in Oxford her work has included conservation and planning for future development . As architect to Newcastle Cathedral she is leading a major project to develop community use in Sacred Space.  In 2017 she stepped down as architect to Ely Cathedral after 25 years and was awarded the Canterbury Cross , by the archbishop, for her outstanding contribution to the Church of England.

Dr Helen Cameron
Helen is Head of Public Affairs for The Salvation Army in the UK.  This involves fighting for greater social justice for those the organisation serves.  Prior to that she was Director of the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology at Ripon College Cuddesdson.  She has written on practical theology and mission.

Order of St Frideswide

Charles Baker
Charles lives in Chalgrove, South Oxfordshire, where he has recently been the project leader for a major refurbishment of St Mary’s Church. For five years he has been the Chairman of the Diocesan Advisory Committee retiring in December 2017. Prior to that he was the chairman of Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust.

Gordon Gill
Gordon Gill is an accountant who worked in management consultancy, mainly on Francophone African projects for the World Bank, ending his working career as the Secretary General of a major trade association. He became the treasurer of the Stone parish in the early 1970s. In the 1980s he became the vice chairman of Bishop’s Council. He twice served as acting chairman, creating the planning and budget subcommittee. Gordon later joined the Glebe Committee where he enjoyed contributing to its activities during more than a decade of hectic development and investment activity.

Jeremy Twynam
Jeremy Twynam is a member of the Diocesan Glebe Committee and a Diocesan Director of the Faringdon Academy of Schools. Until 2017 he was Lay Chairman of the Vale of White Horse Deanery Synod and is a former member of the Diocesan Synod. A past chairman of Shellingford CE School which successfully appealed to the Secretary of State against closure. Now rated Oustanding by Ofsted. He previously served as director or trustee of various companies and charities.

Gordon Gill
I was born in Bampton, Oxfordshire. I spent 35 years working on global brand communications before a short spell at Bible Reading Fellowship before joining the Reading based Prospects – a Christian charity for people with learning disabilities. In 2016 Prospects merged with Livability. My role as Head of Church Giving has been to help steer the integration of the church ministry.  I have been Lay Chair of Wallingford Deanery for seven years and a member of the Diocesan Synod for six years.

New Canons at Christ Church Cathedral

TWELVE new  Canons were commissioned at  Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral during an Evensong on Saturday 23 January.  Canons are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church. Eight Anglican priests will became Honorary Canons while four others will be made Lay/Ecumenical Canons.

The new Honorary Canons at Christ Church Cathedral.

The new Honorary Canons at Christ Church Cathedral.

The Revd Joanna Collicutt

Joanna is the Oxford Diocesan Advisor for the Spiritual Care of Older People and the Karl Jaspers Lecturer in psychology of religion and spirituality at Ripon College Cuddesdon. She is also on the ministry team of Witney parish. Joanna has published several books on the interface between psychology and Christian faith, the most recent of which is The Psychology of Christian Character Formation (SCM).


The Revd Rod Cosh:

The Revd Rod Cosh does not have a parish but works full-time as the Area Dean for Burnham and Slough.  “After many years in parish ministry and as a hospital chaplain I really felt God was calling me to this. It is a very different job from other area deans who have their own parishes too,” says Rod, who moved to his vicarage in Slough from Staines, in Surrey, where he was the vicar of three churches. “It frees me up to support other clergy, church wardens and parishes. It means I can hopefully put quality time in if anyone needs support so at one level it is a pastoral role. It is also about trying to draw a very varied area together.”

The Revd Peter Groves

Peter Groves has been at St Mary Magdalen, Oxford for ten years, having previously been a college chaplain. “Mary Mags” is a busy city-centre Anglo-Catholic church celebrated for its liturgical tradition and well known for nurturing vocations in men and women. Peter also teaches at Worcester College, and is passionate about the role of theology in church and university. He is married to Beatrice, who teaches English at Trinity College, and they have two sons, Michael, eight, and Edward, four. Peter’s vices include wine, quizzing and Queens Park Rangers football club.

 The Revd Alan Hodgetts

After 24 years in parish ministry, in 2006 the Lord called me to HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.  By His grace, I became the Managing Chaplain of a wonderful and growing multi-faith team of 26 chaplains and 37 volunteers.  Together we minister to the faith and pastoral needs of over 700 prisoners and 400 staff.  We welcome around 50 new prisoners every week and as the 2015 Offender Rehabilitation Act gathers momentum, we are developing our ministry to the 30 or so offenders leaving our prison each week, a third of whom are returning to parishes in our diocese.

 The Revd Julie Ramsbottom

Julie has spent 35 years engaged in parish ministry. She is currently Rector of Finchampstead and California, one of the largest congregations in the Berkshire Archdeaconry where the main growth is amongst families with young children. She leads a ministry team of eight, and delights in the fact that the parish is of broad churchmanship, offering a wide variety of worship opportunities from contemporary to BCP matins and evensong. Julie is also Area Dean of Sonning, and is energised by the challenge of supporting colleagues and assisting  parishes to collaborate more effectively.

 The Revd Vaughan Roberts

I have been at St Ebbe’s since I moved to Oxford in 1989. From our central location we have the privilege of ministering to a great variety of people: the residents of our Parish, students, visitors from overseas, the homeless community and people from across the city. In all we do we seek to build a warm community and serve others as we share the good news of Jesus Christ.

The Revd Dr Margaret Whipp

The Revd Dr Margaret Whipp leads the chaplaincy team for the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Margaret’s first profession was in medicine, and her life has taken an interesting route to bring her back into the NHS after 25 years in ministry. Along the way, she has shared in parish ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield, led the university chaplaincy at Oxford Brookes, as well as making substantial contributions to theological education both in Durham and, locally, at Ripon College Cuddesdon. At the heart of all this is pastoral ministry alongside people in whichever sector of life and work they are found.

 The Revd Richard Zair

Ordained in 1980, I came to the Oxford Diocese nearly seven years ago (having worked for more than 18 years with the Church Pastoral Aid Society, initially as their Director of Evangelism, then the Director of Consultants, and lastly as a church consultant). For the first few years I was Berkshire Archdeaconry Mission Advisor as well as Priest-in-Charge of Marcham with Garford. I am now Vicar of two parishes: Marcham with Garford, and St Mary Magdalene, Shippon. I am currently Area Dean of Abingdon. I am also a member of the Diocesan missioners team.

Andrew Anderson-Gear

Andrew was commissioned in December as the Diocese of Oxford’s new Director of Mission. He was the Parish Development Adviser for the Buckingham area from 2003 to 2015. Andrew has worked for the Church for the past 25 years. He has been the diocesan youth adviser in both the Diocese of Ely and the Diocese of Oxford. He and his wife, Lindsey, worship at St Edburg’s Church in Bicester where he leads the All Age service team.

Stephen Darlington

Stephen is one of the country’s leading choral conductors. He has been Director of Music and Tutor in Music at Christ Church since 1985. He has established Christ Church as an acknowledged centre of academic musical excellence, and maintained the highest choral traditions of the Church of England in the Cathedral. He is renowned for his direction of choral music with an extensive discography including several award-winning recording. He is currently Choragus of the University of Oxford and the holder of a Lambeth Doctorate in Music.

The Revd Dr Carla A. Grosch-Miller

Carla was ordained in the United Church of Christ (US) and now serves the United Reformed Church.  She is a practical theologian, educator and poet, as well as a local church minister and Chaplain to the Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC 2014-2016.

The Revd Dr Robin Gibbons

Fr Robin Gibbons is an Eastern Rite Catholic Priest ,one of the Chaplains for the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church (Arab Catholics).  For many years he has been ecumenical partner in the Benefice of Steeple Aston, North Aston and Tackley He works in Oxford University and is a member of the UK Middle East Church leaders group.



For more information and/or to interview any of the new canons contact Jo Duckles on 01865 208227 or 07880 716761 or Sarah Meyrick on 01865 208224 or 07824 906839.




Six to be honoured at Cathedral

(C) KT Bruce

(C) KT Bruce

SIX PEOPLE will be honoured at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford next month.

Four clergy who serve in the Oxford Diocese will become Honorary Canons, in recognition of the distinguished service they have given the diocese.

They are the Revd Charlie Cleverly, Rector of St Aldates, Oxford; the Revd Dr Simon Jones, Fellow and Chaplain of Merton College, Oxford; the Revd Andrew Marsden, Vicar of St Sebastian’s, Wokingham; and the Revd Geoff Maughan, Vicar of Cumnor.

In addition, the Revd Dr Martin Wellings, Superintendent Minister of the Oxford Methodist Circuit, will be made an Ecumenical Canon; and Sir Tony Baldry, MP for Banbury and Second Church Estates Commissioner, will become a Lay Canon.

Honorary Canons take part in the life of the Cathedral by becoming members of the College of Canons. They also serve as ambassadors for the Cathedral in their parish or other ministry.

There are no specific duties attached to the posts of Ecumenical or Lay Canon, but those who take on these roles are invited to join in the life of the Cathedral and to serve as a bridge between the Cathedral, the wider Church and the world.

The six will be ‘installed’ as canons at a special service of Evensong on Saturday 31 January 2015 at 6 pm.

The Dean of Christ Church, the Very Revd Professor Martyn Percy, said: “We are delighted to welcome six new Honorary Canons to the life and work of the Cathedral.  Each brings distinctive gifts and qualities that will enrich our collegiality, and will strengthen the mission and ministry of the diocese.

“We greatly look forward to their installation, and to all that their presence will bring to us in our community, city and counties”.


Revd Charlie Cleverly

Charlie Cleverly read modern languages at Oxford where he was ‘trained to doubt’ by studying Enlightenment and Existentialist literature. He was drawn to Christianity while working as an actor in Oxford. Since ordination, he led for ten years a French-speaking Church in inner-city Paris before moving in 2002 to become Rector of St Aldates, a ‘House of prayer for all nations at the heart of Oxford’. A thousand people attend this city centre Church each Sunday, including many students. He has been involved in setting up ‘ACT!’ which reaches ex-offenders and vulnerable adults in the city. He and his wife Anita founded ‘Love Oxford’ which gathers leaders and churches in the city. He has a love for the whole Church and his interests include discussing issues of faith and doubt with those outside the Church. He is the author of several books, most recently ‘Epiphanies’ (Hodder). He is married to Anita who helped him find faith and is part of the leadership team at St Aldates. They have four children and eight grandchildren.


Revd Dr Simon Jones

After serving his curacy at Tewkesbury Abbey in the Diocese of Gloucester, Simon came to Merton College as Chaplain and Fellow in 2002. His role involves responsibility for the Chapel, where a Choral Foundation was established in 2008. He also heads up the welfare team, and co-ordinates the College’s financial support for students.  His area of academic interest is liturgy, and he teaches at St Stephen’s House as well as for the  University Faculty of Theology and Religion.  The author of several books on liturgy, he is a member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission as well as the Diocesan Liturgical Committee, and delivers some of the ‘hard skills’ training for curates in the Diocese.  He is a trustee of Hymns Ancient and Modern and of the Alcuin Club.  His hobbies include cooking and reading Scandinavian crime fiction.


Revd Andrew Marsden

Andrew was born in London and has degrees in history and theology from the University of Oxford, and an MA in archaeology from the University of Birmingham.  After ordination he served in two parishes in Portsmouth Diocese before taking up his present post as Vicar of St Sebastian’s Church, Wokingham.  He has been a member of the diocesan Bishop’s Council for 10 years, and is Adviser on Spiritual Transformation to the Bishop of Reading.  In this and other capacities he has been involved in offering spiritual support to the clergy of the diocese over a number of years.  Andrew is a member of the Editorial Group for the Grove Booklets Ethics Series and regularly writes Bible Study notes for Scripture Union.  He is married to Ros, and they have two children.


Revd Geoff Maughan

Geoff Maughan has served in the Diocese of Oxford since 1981, for 17 years at Christ Church Abingdon.  From 1998-2007 he was Director of Ministry and Pastoral Chaplain at Wycliffe Hall Oxford and then Vicar of Cumnor where he serves today.  For the Diocese he has helped to train training incumbents, been a moderator of the Portfolio Training Scheme, served as a work consultant, a trainer and tutor on servant leadership programmes.  He is currently training as a Spiritual Director.


Revd Dr Martin Wellings

Martin Wellings has been Minister of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church and Superintendent Minister of the Oxford Methodist Circuit since 2008. Born in Buckinghamshire, he read Modern History at Lincoln College, Oxford, and wrote a D.Phil. on the Evangelical school in the Church of England, 1890-1930, before training for the ministry at Wesley House, Cambridge. He served church appointments in Brackley and Kidlington before returning to Oxford. He has been secretary and chair of Churches Together in Central Oxford, and has been Chair of Churches Together in Oxfordshire since 2009. He is a member of the Faith and Order Committee of the Methodist Church of Great Britain, and a Methodist representative on the British Methodist-Roman Catholic Dialogue. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


The Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry

The Rt. Hon. Sir Tony Baldry has been Member of Parliament for Banbury for over 30 years, having been elected in the 1983 General Election. He was a Minister for eight years, appointed to Government by Margaret Thatcher and then served in the Conservative Government throughout the whole of John Major’s premiership. He has been Second Church Estates Commissioner since June 2010, a position appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It makes him the only Member of Parliament to be a member of General Synod. He is a practising Barrister, Head of a commercial Set of Chambers in the Temple.

Sir Tony was knighted for political and public services in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2012 and became a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council in November 2013. Sir Tony will stand down at the next General Election after 32 years as MP for North Oxfordshire, after which he will become Chairman of the Church Buildings Council.