Hawkey Returns to Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

The Rev. James Hawkey has been appointed by the Crown to the Canonry of Westminster. He will succeed the Rev. Vernon White in September.

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 become a member of the steering group for the Westminster Abbey Institute, established in 2013 to work with the public service institutions around Parliament Square to renew moral and spiritual values in public life. He will also be a visiting lecturer at King’s College, London.

Hawkey and his wife, Carol, were married in September 2012 at the abbey’s high altar.

“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,” said the Very Rev. John Hall, dean of Westminster. “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.”

“It is an immense honor 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,” Hawkey said.

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).

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 2017.

Adapted from Westminster Abbey


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