Isabelle Hamley named as Archbishop of Canterbury’s new chaplain

November 8, 2016



[Lambeth Palace press release] The Rev. Isabelle Hamley has been named as the new chaplain to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. As well as her duties as chaplain she will have responsibility for developing the archbishop’s priority of prayer and the renewal of religious life, especially through the Community of St. Anselm. Currently tutor in biblical studies at St. John’s College, Nottingham, and associate priest in the parish of Edwalton, Hamley will take up her new role in January.

“I am delighted to welcome Isabelle to the team at Lambeth,” said Welby. “The chaplain is a central part of life here, supporting the archbishop and the family, maintaining the rhythms of worship and prayer and providing pastoral support for the community who live and work here.”

“Isabelle comes to us highly commended by her diocese where she has served in several ministry roles, lay and ordained, in university, college and parish. She brings a pastoral heart, a spiritual richness and a rigorous theological understanding to what is a demanding role. We look forward to welcoming her, husband Paul and daughter Aelwen to London and life at Lambeth.”

In responding to her appointment, Hamley said: “I am delighted with the opportunity to join the Lambeth team in supporting the work of the archbishop. It is a privilege to join such a rich and diverse working environment, bringing my experience in parish, chaplaincy and theological education. I look forward to getting to know all those who work and live at Lambeth and enabling prayer to be the beating heart of our life together.”

Originally from France, Hamley has studied and ministered in the U.K. for the last 20 years. She recently became a British citizen where one of the questions in the process was, “Who is the Archbishop of Canterbury and where does he live?”

Hamley is in the final stages of a Ph.D. in biblical studies, (Relational identity, Otherness and Victimisation: An Irigarayan Reading of Judges 19-21), having degrees in both English Studies and in Community Justice, a research masters in postcolonial literature and an M.A. in Ministry and Mission.

Her appointment comes following an extensive selection process which attracted candidates from diverse backgrounds across the Church of England. The appointment committee was itself diverse, and recommended two names, in order of priority, to the archbishop.