Jonathan Draper

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The Very Reverend
Jonathan Draper
Dean of Exeter
Ann Pettifor Jonathan Draper Recycling the Minster's candles.jpg
Draper (right) and Ann Pettifor in York Minster in 2000
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Exeter
In office 3 March 2012–present
Predecessor Jonathan Meyrick
Other posts Canon Theologian, York Minster (2000–2012)
Ordination 1983 (deacon)
1984 (priest)
Personal details
Born 1952 (age 64–65)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Nationality American and/or British
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Maggie (m. 1979)
Children Three
Profession Clergyman and theologian
Alma mater Gordon College, Massachusetts
St John's College, Durham

Jonathan Lee Draper (born 1952) is an American Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. Since 2012, he has been the Dean of Exeter, at Exeter Cathedral in the Church of England Diocese of Exeter.

Early life and education[edit]

Draper was born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.[1] He studied at Gordon College, a Christian liberal arts college in Wenham, Massachusetts, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1976. He then moved to England, and studied at St John's College, Durham. He graduated from the University of Durham with a further BA degree in 1978.[2]

Draper entered Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college near Oxford, to train for ordination. He completed his training in 1983. During this time, he also studied for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at St John's College, Durham, which he completed in 1984.[2] His doctoral thesis was titled "The place of the Bible in the theology of Albrecht Ritschl with special reference to Christology and the Kingdom of God".[3]

Ordained ministry[edit]

Draper was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1983 and as a priest in 1984.[2] From 1983 to 1985, he served his curacy at St John the Divine, Brooklands, in the Diocese of Manchester.[2] Between 1985 and 1992, he was Director of Academic Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college where he himself trained for ordination.[4] He also worked as a lecturer in theology at the University of Oxford.[1]

In 1992, Draper returned to parish ministry and served as the Vicar of Putney;[4] this parish consists of St. Mary's Church, Putney and All Saints' Church, Putney Common in the Diocese of Southwark.[2] He was also involved in providing continuing ministerial education for clergy and lay ministers of the Kingston Episcopal Area.[5] In 2000, he moved to the Diocese of York where he had been appointed the Canon Theologian (a canon residentiary) of York Cathedral.[4][5]

On 15 December 2011, it was announced that Draper would be the next Dean of Exeter in the Diocese of Exeter.[4] The Dean is the head of the Chapter of Exeter Cathedral, and the most senior priest in the diocese. He was installed as Dean during Easter 2012.[4] In September 2016, a report into the workings of Exeter Cathedral was published.[6] It praised Draper as "an excellent preacher" but also claimed that he had "little interest in the more mundane running of the cathedral" and that he "does little to encourage staff and seems to have little contact with many regular members of the congregation who claim to find him remote and disinterested".[7] He will retire in August 2017.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Draper met Maggie, his future wife, while studying at Durham University; they married in 1979.[9] Together they have three children.[4]

Selected works[edit]

  • Draper, Jonathan, ed. (1988). Communion and episcopacy. Oxford: Ripon College Cuddesdon. ISBN 978-0951361108. 
  • Draper, Jonathan (2003). To love and serve: being the body of Christ in a time of change. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281055401. 
  • Kim, Sebastian C. H.; Draper, Jonathan, eds. (2008). Liberating texts?: sacred scriptures in public life. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281058563. 
  • Kim, Sebastian C. H.; Draper, Jonathan, eds. (2011). Christianity and the renewal of nature: creation, climate change and human responsibility. London: SPCK. ISBN 978-0281063314. 


  • The Reverend Jonathan Draper (1983–1984)
  • The Reverend Doctor Jonathan Draper (1984–2000)
  • The Reverend Canon Doctor Jonathan Draper (2000–2012)
  • The Very Reverend Doctor Jonathan Draper (2012 onwards)


  1. ^ a b "Canon Jonathan Draper appointed Dean of Exeter Cathedral". BBC News. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Jonathan Lee Draper". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 27 June 2016.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ Draper, Jonathan Lee (18 September 2013). "The place of the bible in the theology of Albrecht Ritschl with special reference to Christology and the kingdom of god". Durham e-Theses. Durham University. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Dean of Exeter appointed". Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Canon Theologian of York Minster named as new Dean of Exeter". Diocese of York. Church of England. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cathedral Visitation" (pdf). Diocese of Exeter. September 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Bishop of Exeter blasts 'remote' cathedral dean". BBC News. 21 September 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  8. ^ "Dean Jonathan announces retirement". Exeter Cathedral. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "New Dean for Exeter Cathedral". Midweek Herald. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Jonathan Meyrick
Dean of Exeter