Sam Wells (priest)

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The Reverend Canon
Sam Wells
Sam Well Preaching.jpg
Wells preaching at Duke Chapel
Ordination 1991 (priest)
Personal details
Born 24 April 1965
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Jo Bailey Wells
Children 2
Profession Priest, theologian
Alma mater Durham University
University of Edinburgh

Samuel Wells (born 24 April 1965) is an English priest of the Church of England. He is known for his preaching, work in Christian ethics, community organizing and public discourse on issues of faith. He is the current vicar of St. Martin in the Fields, a church in central London. Wells is married to Jo Bailey Wells, who is a former Dean of Clare College, Cambridge, and was the Director of Anglican Episcopal House of Studies at Duke Divinity School. She is also an ordained priest in the Church of England. They have two children together, a son and a daughter.

Education and early ministry[edit]

Sam Wells was an undergraduate at Merton College, Oxford, attended theological college at New College, Edinburgh, and studied for his PhD at Durham University. Ordained in 1991, he served Church of England parish appointments for 14 years in Newcastle, Cambridge and Norwich. He spent ten years of his ministry in areas of social disadvantage. For six years he was involved in establishing a community-led development trust, the first such organization in the east of England.[1] He also established a non-profit organization offering disadvantaged children opportunities to participate in creative play.

Dean of Duke Chapel[edit]

In 2005, Wells became dean of Duke Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School. He developed and chaired the Faith Council, which consists of 12 members from different faith traditions. He initiated dialogue and led discussions on faith and ethics.[2]

While acting as the Dean at Duke Chapel, Wells co-ordinated the ministry and music of the chapel, preached and lead worship. He also oversaw the campus ministries and taught in the divinity school and the school of public policy. He worked with the local Durham community through organizations such as the Religious Coalitions for a Non-Violent Durham to foster a closer relationship with the university and the city.

Vicar of St Martin in the Fields[edit]

Currently, Wells is the vicar of St. Martin in the Fields in central London. He was inducted by the Bishop of London on 2 July 2012. As vicar, in addition to ministerial duties, Wells supports the work of The Connection at St. Martins and oversees the Vicar's Relief Fund, which sends out grants throughout the UK to aid people in crisis.


  • Be Not Afraid (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2011)
  • What Anglicans Believe: An Introduction (Norwich: SCM/Canterbury Press, 2011)
  • What Episcopalians Believe: An Introduction (Harrisburg, PA: Church Publishing Inc., 2011)
  • Living Without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence (with Marcia Owen; Downers Grove: IVP, 2011)
  • Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
  • Introducing Christian Ethics (with Ben Quash; Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
  • Liturgy Comes to Life (Durham, NC: Duke Chapel, 2010)
  • Living Out Loud (with Stanley Hauerwas; edited by Luke Bretherton, et al.; London: Paternoster, 2010)
  • Praying for England: Priestly Presence in Contemporary Culture (edited with Sarah Coakley; London and New York: Continuum, 2008)
  • Speaking the Truth: Preaching in a Pluralistic Culture (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008)
  • Power and Passion: Six Characters in Search of Resurrection (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2007; Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2007)
  • God’s Companions: Reimagining Christian Ethics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006)
  • The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics (edited with Stanley Hauerwas; Oxford, UK; *Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 2004; Second Edition, Revised and Expanded, 2011)
  • Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos; London: SPCK, 2004)
  • Community-Led Estate Regeneration and the Local Church (Cambridge: Grove Booklets, 2003)
  • Faithfulness and Fortitude: In Conversation with the Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas (edited with Mark Thiessen Nation; Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2000)
  • Transforming Fate into Destiny: The Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1998; reissued Eugene, Oregon: Cascade, 2004)


External links[edit]