Christopher Lewis (priest)

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Christopher Lewis
Dean of Christ Church
ChurchChurch of England
In office2003–2014
PredecessorJohn Drury
SuccessorMartyn Percy
Other post(s)Dean of St Albans (1994–2003)
Ordination1973 (deacon)
1974 (priest)
Personal details
Christopher Andrew Lewis

(1944-02-04) 4 February 1944 (age 80)
ParentsAdmiral Sir Andrew Lewis
Rhona Jane Martindale
(m. 1970)
EducationMarlborough College
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Westcott House, Cambridge
Military career
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1961–1966
Battles/warsIndonesia–Malaysia confrontation

Christopher Andrew Lewis (born 4 February 1944) is a Church of England priest and academic. He was Dean of St Albans from 1994 to 2003 and Dean of Christ Church from 2003 to 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Lewis was born on 4 February 1944, to Admiral Sir Andrew Lewis and his wife, Rachel Elizabeth (née Leatham). He was educated at Marlborough College, an all-boys public school in Wiltshire.[1] He went on to study sociology and theology at the University of Bristol, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1969.[1][2] He later returned to studying, and graduated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in theology in 1974.[1][2] He trained for ordination at Westcott House, Cambridge.[1]


Military service[edit]

Lewis served in the Royal Navy from 1961 to 1966.[1] He served aboard a minesweeper during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation.[3] He was promoted from acting sub-lieutenant to sub-lieutenant on 1 September 1965.[4] He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 March 1966.[5]

On 17 October 1966, Lewis transferred to the Permanent Royal Navy Reserve in the rank of lieutenant.[6] This ended his full-time military service.

Ordained ministry[edit]

Lewis was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1973 and as a priest in 1974. He served as assistant curate of Barnard Castle (1973–76). From 1976 to 1979 he was both Director of the Oxford Institute for Church and Society and a tutor at Ripon College Cuddesdon. He was Senior Tutor at Ripon College Cuddesdon (1979–81) and (Vice Principal) 1981–82. He was also priest-in-charge of Aston Rowant with Crowell from 1978 to 1981. He was Vicar of Spalding from 1982 to 1987 when he was appointed a canon residentiary of Canterbury Cathedral. He was also Director of Ministerial Training for the Diocese of Canterbury from 1989 to 1994.

Lewis was Dean of St Albans Cathedral from 1994 to 2003. He was for some time Chairman of the Association of English Cathedrals.[1] In 2003, he was appointed Dean of Christ Church; this made him both head of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and of the associated college of the University of Oxford.[1] He retired on 4 February 2014, his 70th birthday.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, Lewis married Rhona Jane Martindale. They have two sons and one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lewis, Very Rev. Christopher Andrew PhD in Who's Who 2008 (A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007) online (subscription required). Retrieved 12 August 2008
  2. ^ a b "Dr Christopher Lewis". Faculty of Theology and Religion. University of Oxford. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  3. ^ Walker, Tim (6 January 2014). "Christ Church seeks a diplomatic dean". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. ^ "No. 43836". The London Gazette. 10 December 1965. p. 11545.
  5. ^ "No. 44099". The London Gazette. 30 August 1966. p. 9588.
  6. ^ "No. 44178". The London Gazette. 22 November 1966. p. 12584.
  7. ^ Oxford Mail – Dean of Christ Church preparing to retire and start new life in Suffolk (Accessed 7 May 2104)