At Birmingham, he directed the first revival of the David Hare Trilogy (Absence of War, Murmuring Judges and Racing Demon). Productions he has directed at Chichester include The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, the first major revival since its RSC premiere in 1980, and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. The Telegraph has credited Church with reviving the fortunes of both the Salisbury Playhouse and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
In 2006, Church moved to Chichester, and was praised for saving the Chichester Festival Theatre from closure by almost doubling the audience numbers and overseeing a £22m redevelopment to the theatre. A number of Chichester productions during his tenure, including Sweeney Todd and South Downs, have subsequently gone on to the West End. Church's production of Singin' in the Rain opened at the Palace Theatre in 2012.
Church and the executive director of CFT, Alan Finch, both announced in March 2015 that they would stand down from their positions, at the end of September 2016, in order to make way for "new ideas and new energies". In June 2015, they were received into the Order of the British Empire as a Commander, for their services to the Festival Theatre.
Church is the son of Tony Church, former broadcaster with BBC Radio Nottingham and previously chief technician at Nottingham Playhouse, and the actress Marielaine Douglas. He is married to Yvonne Thomson and they have four daughters.
- Logan, Brian (3 December 2007). "God bless the bourgeoisie". The Times. London. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "STC APPOINTS JONATHAN CHURCH AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR". STC website. 25 August 2015.
- Modern Classics The Guardian, 23 April 2003
- Return of a stage legend The Evening Standard, 24 July 2006
- The resistible rise of Arturo Ui The Guardian, 12 July 2012
- The resistible rise of Arturo Ui, Minerva Studio, Chichester, review The Telegraph, 12 July 2012
- Charles Spencer: Lady Macbeth at Chichester The Telegraph, 23 February 2009
- The irresistible rise of Jonathan Church The Independent, 1 July 2012
- Singin' in the Rain comes to London's West End: we'll make a splash The Telegraph, 15 February 2012
- "Chichester Festival Theatre bosses to stand down". BBC News. 31 March 2015.
- "Queen's birthday honours list 2015: GCB, DBE and CBE". The Guardian. 12 June 2015.
- Blake, Elissa (19 December 2015). "New artistic director replaces Andrew Upton at Sydney Theatre Company". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
- "'Marielaine Church had a big heart and cared about her pupils'". Nottingham Post. 9 September 2014.