Martyn Percy

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Martyn Percy (born 31 July 1962)[1] has been the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford since 4 October 2014.[2] He was previously Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford; he is also Honorary Professor of Theological Education at King's College London, and Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London. He has also served as Adjunct Professor at Hartford Seminary, Connecticut. He was also an Honorary Canon of Salisbury Cathedral, having previously served as Honorary Canon, and later as Canon Theologian, at Sheffield Cathedral.

Early life and education[edit]

He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood, the University of Bristol (BA), the University of Durham (Cert. Counselling), King's College London (PhD) and at the University of Sheffield (MEd). After a career in publishing (1984–88), he trained for ordination at Durham. He served as Curate at St. Andrew’s, Bedford (1990–94), and was then appointed Chaplain and Director of Studies, Christ’s College, Cambridge. In 1997 he was appointed as the Founding Director of the Lincoln Theological Institute - a research and consultancy body specialising in faith and society. He left in 2004 to become Principal at Cuddesdon.


Ripon College Cuddesdon has developed significantly since 2004. The College incorporated the Oxford Ministry Course (OMC) in 2006, and the West of England Ministerial Training Course (WEMTC) in 2011, making it the largest provider of Anglican ordination training in the UK. The College partners the Diocese of Oxford in the delivery of Ordained Local Ministry training. In 2011 the College began a partnership with the Church Missionary Society to deliver training for Ordained Pioneer Ministers – the first partnership of this kind that pairs a theological college with a missionary society. In 2005, the Oxford Centre for Ecclesiology and Practical Theology (OxCEPT) was founded, which provides research and consultancy services to the wider church.

Ripon College Cuddesdon has become internationally more active in recent years. It currently works closely with the Anglican Church in Hong Kong, and continues to enjoy links with Anglican colleges in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. More recently, the College has developed a programme of Christian-Muslim dialogue and related work, including a Visiting Fellowship for Islamic Scholars established at Cuddesdon, in partnership with the Dubai-based Al Maktoum Institute.

In 2010 the College launched a £10 million Appeal to build a new education centre and chapel, and raise funds for endowing bursaries, fellowships, studentships and research. The new Edward King chapel and education centre (Harriet Monsell House) were completed in 2013. Harriet Monsell House includes an enclosure for a community of five Anglican Sisters, who moved from Begbroke Priory. The Sisters work alongside staff and students, supporting in prayer and spirituality, whilst continuing to develop their own ministries of spiritual direction.

Other roles[edit]

Percy has also undertaken a number of roles in public life, specialising in media and consumer affairs. He has served as a Director and Council member of the Advertising Standards Authority (1999–2006). He was previously an Advisor on the ‘Faith Zone’ for the New Millennium Experience Company and the Millennium Dome in London (1999). From 2006-2008 he was a member of the Theology and Religious Studies Panel for the HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise. He has also recently served as a member of the Independent Complaints Panel for the Portman Group, the self-regulating body for the alcoholic drinks industry. He is currently a Commissioner for the Direct Marketing Authority, and also serves as an Advisor to the British Board of Film Classification. He is also the elected Chair of Cuddesdon and Denton Parish Council.


His publications include Clergy: The Origin of Species (Continuum 2006), and a trilogy focussing on ecclesiology with Ashgate Publishing - Engaging Contemporary Culture: Christianity and the Concrete Church (2005), Shaping the Church: The Promise of Implicit Theology (2010) and The Ecclesial Canopy: Faith, Hope, Charity (2012). Anglicanism: Confidence, Commitment and Communion (Ashgate, 2013) and Thirty-Nine New Articles: An Anglican Landscape of Faith (Canterbury Press, 2013) reflect a growing focus in his work. His academic writing and research has mostly centred on the study of Christianity in contemporary culture, with interests spanning Anglicanism, theological education and modern ecclesiology (including work on fundamentalism and revivalism). He has been a regular contributor to the Guardian and BBC Radio. Percy is the co-founder (with Tom Hughson of Marquette University) of the Society for the Study of Anglicanism, which meets annually at the American Academy of Religion. Rob Slocum is currently the co-chair of the Society

Percy has the curious distinction of being the only living theologian mentioned and quoted in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code (chapter 55).


  1. ^ Percy, Rev. Canon Prof. Martyn William. Who's Who 2014 (December 2013 online ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Christ Church, Oxford – The Dean of Christ Church (Accessed 7 May 2014)