14 Nov 2014
Clare College, Cambridge, has announced that the Reverend Dr James Hawkey will be its next Dean and Director of Studies in Theology, to succeed the Reverend Dr Gregory Seach who is leaving to take up the post of Warden of Wollaston College in Western Australia.
Commenting on the appointment, the Master of Clare College, Lord Grabiner QC said: 'We are delighted to welcome Jamie Hawkey as the new Dean of the College to succeed the Revd Dr Greg Seach. The role of Dean is a crucial one: in addition to conducting services in Chapel, the Dean has a wide-ranging pastoral role across the whole of the College community, to those of all faiths and none. I know that Jamie's time at Westminster Abbey will stand him in excellent stead to take up this role at Clare and we look forward to welcoming him back to Cambridge.'
The Reverend Dr James Hawkey has been a Minor Canon of Westminster Abbey since 2010, and Precentor since Christmas 2013, responsible to the Dean of Westminster for the daily worshipping life of the Abbey, and for designing and planning many of the special services which characterise its unique life.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: 'Jamie has played a key pastoral as well as liturgical role at the Abbey. His considerable and wide-ranging musical and ecumenical gifts have been fundamental to his effective ministry. He sings services beautifully, presides with dignity and authority and preaches brilliantly. He is a delightful colleague and we shall wish him and Carol every happiness as they move back to Cambridge.'
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 a rapporteur (theological and reporting secretary) to the bishops of the 2008 Lambeth Conference, an invited theologian to the WCC Faith and Order Plenary in Crete, and currently serves as a member of the International Anglican-Reformed Dialogue, the CofE-URC Dialogue, and the Malines Conversations Group. He is a Council Member of US (formally USPG), and a consultant to the Development Committee of the Anglican Centre in Rome. He writes and speaks regularly on ecumenism and ecclesiology, and his interests include the arts, the British countryside and Italy. He is married to Carol, who is Head of Rural Assets for the Church Commissioners.
James Hawkey said of his appointment: 'I am enormously excited about coming to Clare, a community where there is obviously a long-term commitment to first-class pastoral care as well as to intellectual rigour, and the habits which shape mature reflection. It will be a privilege to be a priest for the whole College, staff and students, and those of all faiths and none. Succeeding someone as warm and as brilliant as Greg Seach will certainly be a tall order, but I hope to continue that work of Christian hospitality, worship and engagement.'
He will leave the Abbey next summer and take up his appointment at Clare College on 1st September. The Deanery of Clare has previously been held by Lord Williams of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who is now Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, and by Mark Santer, former Bishop of Birmingham.