Eric James

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For other people with the same name, see Eric James (disambiguation).

Eric Arthur James FKC AKC (14 April 1925 – 1 May 2012) was an Anglican clergyman, Chaplain Extraordinary to HM the Queen and for many years a regular participant in the "Thought for the Day" feature of BBC Radio 4's Today programme.[1] He was associated with St Albans Cathedral for some years.

Early life[edit]

James was born in Essex. He left Dagenham County High School in Dagenham, Essex, at fourteen, when the Second World War broke out, and worked for seven years at a riverside wharf on the Thames where the Globe Theatre now stands. After the war, he was accepted as a student by King's College London, where he studied Theology, gaining an MA and BD.


After he was ordained he became Assistant Curate of St Stephen with St John, Westminster, from 1951-5.

He was Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1955-9, and thereby became associated with some of the best known clerics of his generation: Mervyn Stockwood, John Robinson (author of the bestseller Honest to God), Robert Runcie and Trevor Huddleston. He was Select Preacher from 1959-60 to the University of Cambridge.

From 1959-64 he was Vicar of St George, Camberwell, and Warden of Trinity College Mission. From 1964-9 he was Director of Parish and People. From 1964-72 he was also Proctor in Convocation.

James was made Chaplain to the Queen in 1984 and was Preacher to Gray's Inn from 1978 to 1997, as well as Director of Christian Action from 1979 to 1990 and one of the people who inspired the 1985 Faith in the City report. He was Select Preacher from 1991-2 to the University of Oxford, and was awarded the Lambeth degree of DD in 1993.

He was also the biographer of John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich.

Personal life[edit]

He lived in the London Charterhouse. He died on 1 May 2012.


  1. ^ Obituary: Canon Eric James, Daily Telegraph, 2 May 2012

External links[edit]