Chris Chivers

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Christoher Mark 'Chris' Chivers (born 16 July 1967) is an Anglican priest, composer and author.[1][2][3] From August 2015, he will be principal of Westcott House, Cambridge, an Anglican theological college in the Liberal Catholic tradition.

Early life[edit]

Chivers was born on 16 July 1967. He was educated at Bristol Cathedral School, an all-boys independent school in Bristol which provides a choir to Bristol Cathedral. He then studied at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Following graduation, Chivers held musical teaching posts at New College School, Oxford, Cheltenham Ladies' College and King's College School, Cambridge.

Ordained ministry[edit]

Early posts[edit]

Ordination, curacy[edit]

After studying at Westcott House, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1997 at St Paul's Cathedral by the Bishop of London. He served his curacy in the Parish of Friern Barnet.[4] During his time there he was named one of the top ten preachers of the year in The Times 1999 Preacher of the Year competition.[5]

South Africa[edit]

In 1999 he went to Cape Town as Canon Precentor of St. George's Cathedral, Cape Town.[6] While there he witnessed the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and spoke to the worshippers at Friday Prayers in a local mosque.

Later posts[edit]

Westminster Abbey[edit]

In November 2001 he was appointed Precentor of Westminster Abbey in London and Chaplain of Westminster Abbey Choir School. He participated in the funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.

Blackburn Cathedral[edit]

In 2005 he became Canon Chancellor of Blackburn Cathedral.[7][8] While there, he was one of the first to teach the Awareness Course.

Return to London[edit]

In 2010 he became Vicar of John Keble Church, Mill Hill,[9] in the Diocese of London and in 2012 a priest vicar of Westminster Abbey.

Westcott House, Cambridge[edit]

On 12 April 2015, it was announced that Chivers would return to Westcott House, Cambridge, as Principal from 1 August 2015.[10]

As author[edit]

Chivers has written about his experiences in South Africa[11] and made contributions to other collections. As a journalist he has written for the Cape Times,[12] The Times, The Independent,[13] The Guardian,[14] Church Times,[15] Church of England Newspaper and The Tablet.[16]

Musical work[edit]

His choral works have been sung at (amongst others) King's College, Cambridge, Westminster Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral; and include: Our Blessed Lady's Lullaby (1988), Ecce Puer (1994), Mayenziwe Magnificat (2000) and Diptych (2006).


Chivers has presented The Daily Service for BBC Radio 4,[17] interviewed Desmond Tutu and was part of the team broadcasting the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington DC.[18]


  • In 2008 his work in reaching out to the Muslim faith was recognized when he was the named the North West's Man of the Year.[19][20]
  • In 2009 he became a Companion of the Melanesian Brotherhood, the largest Anglican religious order in the world.[21]
  • He is currently Chair of the Trustees of Us. (formerly the USPG);[22] and Faith Advisor to the Charity Commission.
  • He and his wife Mary Chivers have three sons: Dominic (born 1999); Gregory (born 2000); and Jonathan (born in 2007).


  1. ^ St Paul's University, Kenya
  2. ^ The Guardian
  3. ^ Presto
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "The fifth Times book of best sermons – Ruth Gledhill – Google Books". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Linda Louw. "St George's Cathedral, Cape Town". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to Blackburn Cathedral". 5 September 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "John Keble Front Page". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Westcott House website.
  11. ^ AGW
  12. ^ Independent Newspapers Online. "". Cape Times. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Canon David Isitt: Pioneering priest in the fields of counselling, ecumenism and theological education – Obituaries, News". The Independent (UK). 14 September 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Chivers, Chris (2007-09-14). "Chris Chivers: Thinking about the meaning of Ramadan has made me a better Christian". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  15. ^ "Mandela's priest". Church Times (#7539). 7 September 2007. p. 17. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 7 June 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "International Catholic weekly newspaper". The Tablet. 19 July 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Religion and Ethics – Daily Service". BBC. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  18. ^ Cruces, Emma (2008-12-18). "Blackburn Cathedral canon's Barack Obama mission". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  19. ^ "'Heroes' honoured at Fusion Awards". Lancashire Telegraph. 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  20. ^ "Top stories | From". The Guardian (UK). 29 May 2008. Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Melanesian Brotherhood". Retrieved 21 October 2011. 
  22. ^ Christianity today