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Dr James Hawkey appointed New Canon Theologian

Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Dr James Hawkey appointed New Canon Theologian

The Reverend Dr James Hawkey has been appointed by the Crown to the Canonry of Westminster to be made vacant through the retirement of the Reverend Professor Vernon White in September.

James Hawkey, a former Minor Canon of Westminster, returns to the Abbey after three years as Dean and Director of Studies in Theology at Clare College, Cambridge.

He will be installed as Canon Theologian, and in his new role will have a particular responsibility for theological study and teaching. He will also become a member of the steering group for the Westminster Abbey Institute, established in 2013 with the aim of working with the public service institutions around Parliament Square to revitalise moral and spiritual values in public life. He will also be a Visiting Lecturer at King’s College London.

James Hawkey read theology at Girton College, Cambridge, where he was a Choral Scholar, graduating with first class honours and various prizes before becoming a Gosden Scholar of Selwyn College for his MPhil and PhD (in ecclesiology, under the supervision of the late Professor Daniel W Hardy).

Having taught RE and Philosophy at Bedford School, he trained for the priesthood at Westcott House, spent a semester at the Angelicum University in Rome, and served his curacy in inner-city Portsmouth, at St Mary's Portsea.

He was appointed Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster Abbey in 2010, becoming Minor Canon and Precentor in December 2013, before moving to Cambridge.

He was appointed a Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen in October last year.

He is currently a member of the International Reformed/Anglican Dialogue, and of the Malines Conversations Group. His commentary on the latest agreed statement of the Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission will be published by SPCK later this year, and he is currently working on The Heart and Heat of Pentecost: Renewing Anglican Ecclesiology. Dr Hawkey is also a trustee of the Cambridge Institute for Religion and International Studies and a member of the Church of England's Estates Theology Group.

The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said:

Dr Hawkey is one of the most gifted of Anglican theologians of his generation, with wide-ranging interests and connections, and with a particular commitment to ecumenical relations. His experience and commitments will contribute strongly to his role as Westminster Abbey’s Canon Theologian, following his three very successful years in Cambridge. We shall look forward to welcoming him and Carol again to the Abbey community and to his new responsibilities.

Dr Hawkey said:

It is an immense honour to be appointed Canon Theologian at Westminster Abbey, and to continue to develop the Abbey’s tradition of confident, imaginative theological engagement with a wide variety of partners in both Church and State, for the health of both. Theology is the ultimate integrative discipline, offering rich resources for the many diverse questions currently emerging in public life. I look forward very much to pursuing these with colleagues on Chapter, in the Institute, at King’s College London, and in the wider community of Parliament Square and Whitehall, as well as continuing my own work in ecumenical theology, ecclesiology and theological education for the Church.

The biggest challenge we face is actually time – getting all our work done alongside the daily routine of the Abbey as a working church, visitor attraction and home to 1,000 years of history.

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