Giles Fraser

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Giles Fraser
Vicar of St Anne's Church, Kew
Fraser speaking at Levellers Day, Burford, in 2008
ChurchChurch of England
AppointedFebruary 2022
Other post(s)President of Inclusive Church
Ordination1993 (deacon)
1994 (priest)
Personal details
Giles Anthony Fraser

(1964-11-27) 27 November 1964 (age 59)
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
ParentsAnthony and Gillian Fraser[1]
  • Sally Aagaard[1]
Lynn Tandler
(m. 2016)
ChildrenTwo daughters, three sons[1]
OccupationPriest, journalist, and broadcaster
Previous post(s)
Alma materNewcastle University, Lancaster University

Giles Anthony Fraser (born 27 November 1964)[3] is an English Anglican priest, journalist and broadcaster who has served as Vicar of St Anne's Church, Kew, since 2022.[4] He is a regular contributor to Thought for the Day and The Guardian and a panellist on The Moral Maze, as well as an assistant editor of UnHerd.

Early life and education[edit]

Fraser talks with Samira Ahmed, Francesca Stavrakopoulou and Adam Rutherford at Conway Hall in 2015.

Fraser was born to a Jewish father and a Christian mother and was circumcised according to Jewish tradition.[5]

He was educated at Hollingbury Court preparatory school in Sussex, where he was beaten several times a week by the headmaster for minor misdemeanours,[6] and at Uppingham School, a fee-paying Christian school, where he became a Christian.[7] He studied at Newcastle University before training for ordained ministry at Ripon College Cuddesdon, near Oxford. He continued his studies at the University of Lancaster, where he was awarded a PhD in 1999 with a thesis entitled Holy Nietzsche experiments in redemption.


Fraser was ordained as a deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994, serving as curate of All Saints' Church in Streetly, Birmingham, from 1993 to 1997.[3] From 1997 to 2006 he was a chaplain and then a lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford.[citation needed]

In 2000 he became Team Rector of St. Mary's Church, Putney, where he campaigned to raise the profile of the Putney Debates of 1647[8] and founded Inclusive Church, which campaigns for lesbian and gay inclusion within the church.

From 2009 to 2011 he was canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral in London,[9] with special responsibility for contemporary ethics and engagement with the City of London as a financial centre. In October 2011 Occupy London based its protest outside the cathedral, where Fraser said that he was happy for people to "exercise their right to protest peacefully".[10] However, he resigned as he could not sanction any policy of the cathedral chapter that involved using force to remove the protesters.[11] He has said that it was "a huge matter of regret to leave" St Paul's, "but not for one moment have I thought that I did the wrong thing".[12]

He was also a visiting professor in the anthropology department at the London School of Economics and Director of the St Paul's Institute from 2009 to 2011.

In 2012 Fraser was appointed Priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Newington, in south London,[13] and in 2022 he became Vicar of St Anne's Church, Kew, in south-west London.

Since 2009 he has been an honorary canon of the Diocese of Sefwi Wiawso in Ghana.[14]

Views and writing[edit]

Fraser has been involved in social and political advocacy and, according to The Daily Telegraph, "would be the first to admit that he is fond of the sound of his own voice".[15] In 2019 he claimed that "all my political energy has been a reaction to Margaret Thatcher. I hated and continue to hate Thatcherism with a passion that remains undimmed".[16]

In the 2016 referendum Fraser supported leaving the European Union, commenting that he found it "amazing that progressives are so keen to offer support to a remote and undemocratic bureaucracy that locks in a commitment to neoliberal economics".[17] In 2019 he said he was "longing for a full-on Brexit – No Deal, please".[18] In the 2019 general election he voted for the Conservative Party,[19] even though he had just joined the Social Democratic Party.[20][21]

From 2004 to 2013 Fraser had a weekly column in the Church Times[22] and is also a regular contributor to The Guardian.

Fraser is the author or co-author of several books and is a specialist on the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. He has lectured on moral leadership for the British Army at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham.

Personal life[edit]

Fraser has been married twice. With his first wife, Sally Aagaard, whom he married in 1993, he had two daughters and a son.[9]

On 16 January 2016, Fraser announced his engagement to Lynn Tandler, an Israeli Jew,[23] who is a weaver and academic researcher.[24] They were married on 13 February 2016.[2][non-primary source needed] Their son was born in November of the same year.[25]

In June 2017 Fraser suffered a heart attack and successfully underwent surgery.[26]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Fraser was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edge Hill University, Lancashire, in 2013[27] and by the Open University in 2015.[28][29]

He was voted Stonewall Hero of the Year in 2012.[30]


  1. ^ a b c Dugan, Emily (22 January 2012). "Giles Fraser: 'I've spent my life on the naughty step'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b @giles_fraser (13 February 2016). "Mr an Mrs Fraser. Just married" (Tweet). Retrieved 12 July 2017 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ a b "Fraser, Rev. Canon Dr Giles Anthony", Who's Who
  4. ^ "Formal Announcement: Appointment of Vicar of St Anne's Church, Kew – St Anne's Church".
  5. ^ Fraser, Giles (17 July 2012). "This German circumcision ban is an affront to Jewish and Muslim identity". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  6. ^ Fraser, Giles (5 February 2017). "Like John Smyth's accusers, I bear the scars of a muscular christian education". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  7. ^ "The Anglican priest who had a bris". The Jewish Chronicle. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  8. ^ Hunt, Tristram (26 October 2007). "Tristram Hunt on the Putney debates of 1647". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  9. ^ a b Thinking Anglicans – Giles Fraser becomes a canon of St Paul's
  10. ^ Davies, Caroline (16 October 2011). "Occupy London protest continues into second day". The Guardian. London.
  11. ^ Rusbridger, Alan (27 October 2011). "Canon of St Paul's 'unable to reconcile conscience with evicting protest camp". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 December 2022.
  12. ^ Thornton, Ed (12 October 2012) "Still preocuppied by Occupy", Church Times
  13. ^ Jones, Sam (1 April 2012). "Former canon of St Paul's appointed parish priest at inner-city church". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Giles Anthony Fraser". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  15. ^ Thompson, Damian (28 October 2011). "Giles Fraser: The Church's own radical cleric will still have a voice". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  16. ^ Fraser, Giles (30 May 2019). "Who broke the Left?". UnHerd. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  17. ^ Fraser, Giles (15 June 2016). "Call me a liar, an idiot or a wrong 'un if you like, but I'm still voting leave | Giles Fraser". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  18. ^ Fraser, Giles (22 February 2019). "Why won't Remainers talk about family?". UnHerd. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  19. ^ @giles_fraser (12 December 2019). "Because of Antisemitism. Because of Brexit. Voted Conservative" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Fraser, Giles (14 March 2019). "Turned off the news in disgust. Can't watch how useless our politicians are any more. Applied to join the @TheSDPUK. Feel a lot better already".
  21. ^ Brierley, Justin. "Giles Fraser: How the journalist-priest discovered his Jewish roots". Premier Christianity. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  22. ^ 'Goodbye: I am letting anger drop', Church Times, 8 February 2013
  23. ^ Fraser, Giles (18 February 2016). "Think love knows no boundaries? Try getting married in Israel". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Dr Lynn Tandler". Royal College of Art. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  25. ^ Fraser, Giles (2 December 2016). "Many of our beliefs are not chosen, we are born into them". The Guardian.
  26. ^ Fraser, Giles (8 June 2017). "I'm having heart surgery in a few hours. I fear for myself – and the NHS". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  27. ^ United Kingdom (17 July 2013). "Church Leader Given Honorary Award". Edgehill University. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Honorary degrees" (PDF). Open University. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  29. ^ "Honorary degrees; Degree ceremonies". Open University. 2016. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  30. ^ Carrell, Severin; correspondent, Scotland (2 November 2012). "Stonewall unapologetic over Scottish cardinal's 'bigot of the year' award". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 March 2020.

External links[edit]

Church of England titles
Preceded by Canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral
Succeeded by