Jonathan Draper

Last updated

Jonathan Draper
Dean of Exeter
JLDweddingsermon (cropped).jpg
Draper delivering a sermon at a wedding in 2018
Church Church of England
Diocese Diocese of Exeter
In office3 March 2012 – 3 July 2017
Predecessor Jonathan Meyrick
Other postsGeneral Secretary of Modern Church (2017–present)
Canon Theologian, York Minster (2000–2012)
Ordination1983 (deacon)
1984 (priest)
Personal details
Born (1952-02-27) 27 February 1952 (age 69)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Nationality American and/or British
Denomination Anglican
(m. 1979)
Profession Clergyman and theologian
Alma mater Gordon College, Massachusetts
St John's College, Durham

Jonathan Lee Draper (born 27 February 1952) is an American Anglican priest, theologian, and academic. Since 2017, he has been the General Secretary of Modern Church. From 2012 to 2017, he was the Dean of Exeter, at Exeter Cathedral in the Church of England Diocese of Exeter.


Early life and education

Draper was born on 27 February 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. [1] [2] He was educated at Plainfield High School, New Jersey. [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. [3]

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. [3] 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". [4]

Ordained ministry

Draper was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1983 and as a priest in 1984. [3] From 1983 to 1985, he served his curacy at St John the Divine, Brooklands, in the Diocese of Manchester. [3] Between 1985 and 1992, he was Director of Academic Studies at Ripon College Cuddesdon, an Anglican theological college where he himself trained for ordination. [5] He also worked as a lecturer in theology at the University of Oxford. [2]

In 1992, Draper returned to parish ministry and served as the Vicar of Putney; [5] this parish consists of St. Mary's Church, Putney and All Saints' Church, Putney Common in the Diocese of Southwark. [3] He was also involved in providing continuing ministerial education for clergy and lay ministers of the Kingston Episcopal Area. [6] In 2000, he moved to the Diocese of York where he had been appointed the Canon Theologian (a canon residentiary) of York Cathedral. [5] [6]

On 15 December 2011, it was announced that Draper would be the next Dean of Exeter in the Diocese of Exeter. [5] 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. [5] He retired from full-time ordained ministry in August 2017. [7]

Later life

In July 2017, it was announced that Draper would be the next General Secretary of Modern Church, a liberal Christian charity. [8] [9] He took up the part-time post on 1 September 2017. [8]

Personal life

Draper met Maggie, his future wife, while studying at Durham University; they married in 1979. [10] Together they have three children. [5]

Selected works


Related Research Articles

David Staffurth Stancliffe is a retired Church of England bishop. He was Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral from 1982 to 1993, and the Bishop of Salisbury from 1993 to 2010. He is the third generation of his family to serve the ordained ministry.

Stephen George Platten, FSA is a retired Anglican bishop. He was the last diocesan Bishop of Wakefield in the Church of England. He was consecrated in this role on 19 July 2003 and immediately prior to that was Dean of Norwich from 1995. He was installed at Wakefield Cathedral on 19 July 2003.

John Martin Wharton, is a British Anglican bishop, a retired Bishop of Newcastle.

Mark Bryant (bishop)

Mark Watts Bryant is a retired British Anglican bishop. From 2007 to 2018, he was the Bishop of Jarrow, the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Durham in the Church of England.

William Nigel Stock is a British Anglican bishop. From 2013 until his 2017 retirement, he was Bishop at Lambeth, Bishop to the Forces and Bishop for the Falkland Islands; from 2007 to 2013 he was Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

Martyn Percy

Martyn William Percy is a British Anglican priest and theologian. He has been Dean of Christ Church, Oxford since October 2014, and was previously Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford.

Jonathan Meyrick

Cyril Jonathan Meyrick is the current bishop of Lynn and former dean of Exeter.

John Henry Garton was a British Anglican bishop and theologian. He was the Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon from 1986 to 1996, and the suffragan Bishop of Plymouth in the Church of England from 1996 to 2005.

Paul David Loup Avis is an Anglican priest, theologian and ecumenist. He was General Secretary of the Church of England’s Council for Christian Unity from 1998 to 2011, Theological Consultant to the Anglican Communion Office, London, from 2011 to 2012, and Canon Theologian of Exeter Cathedral, 2008-2013. He is currently Honorary Professor in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK. At the University of Exeter he was Visiting Professor of Theology, 2009-17 and is currently Honorary Research Fellow. He is Director of the Centre for the Study of the Christian Church which organises occasional conferences and is linked to the journal Ecclesiology, published by Brill, of which he is Editor-in-Chief. He is the Editor of the series 'Anglican-Episcopal Theology and History', also published by Brill. Paul Avis was also a Chaplain to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2008-17.

Modern Church is a charitable society promoting liberal Christian theology. It defends liberal positions on a wide range of issues including gender, sexuality, interfaith relations, religion and science, and biblical scholarship. In church affairs it supports the role of laity and women ministers. Members receive the journal Modern Believing and the newsletter Signs of the Times. A substantial account of its theology is Paul Badham’s The Contemporary Challenge of Modernist Theology. From 2011-2013 it published a series of short books introducing some of its themes. It has a large website. There is a regular annual conference. The theological principles behind its liberalism are that

Charles William Taylor was Dean of Peterborough from 2007 to 2016.

John Richard Dobson DL is a British Church of England priest. Since 2014, he has been the Dean of Ripon. Previously, he was a curate in County Durham and a vicar in Darlington. He also held the senior posts of Area Dean of Darlington and Chair of the House of Clergy of the Durham Diocesan Synod.

Professor Anthony Oakley Dyson was a priest in the Church of England and Professor of Social and Pastoral Theology, Manchester University 1980–1998.

Susan Helen Jones is a Welsh Anglican priest. Since May 2018, she has been Dean of Liverpool in the Church of England. She was Dean of Bangor from 2011 to May 2015 and Director of Mission and Ministry in the Diocese of Derby from May 2015 to 2018.

Helen-Ann Hartley

Helen-Ann Macleod Hartley is a British Anglican bishop and academic. She has been the Bishop of Ripon in the Church of England, an area bishop of the Diocese of Leeds, since 2018. She previously served as Bishop of Waikato in New Zealand from 2014 to 2017. She was the first woman to have trained as a priest in the Church of England to join the episcopate, and the third woman to become a bishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

Nicholas Charles Papadopulos is a Church of England priest and the Dean of Salisbury.

Andrew Tremlett is a British Church of England priest. Since July 2016, he has served as Dean of Durham, and is therefore the head of the Chapter of Durham Cathedral and the most senior priest in the Diocese of Durham. Previously, he was a Canon Residentiary of Westminster Abbey (2010–2016), Rector of St Margaret's Church, Westminster (2010–2016), Archdeacon of Westminster (2014–2016), and Sub-Dean of Westminster Abbey (2014–2016). He was also a Canon Residentiary at Bristol Cathedral (2008–2010).

Paula Gooder is a British theologian and Anglican lay reader, who specialises in the New Testament. She is Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral. She has previously taught at two theological colleges, Ripon College Cuddesdon and The Queen's Foundation, served as Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society (2013–2017), and as Director of Mission, Learning and Development in the Diocese of Birmingham (2017–2018). She is a freelance writer and speaker.

Philip John Hesketh is a British Anglican priest. Since June 2016, he has served as the Dean of Rochester, the head of the chapter of Rochester Cathedral and the most senior priest in the Diocese of Rochester.

Mark David Chapman is a British Anglican priest, theologian, historian, and academic. He has been Vice-Principal of Ripon College Cuddesdon since 2002, and Full Professor of the History of Modern Theology at the University of Oxford since 2015.


  1. 1 2 'DRAPER, Very Rev. Dr Jonathan Lee', Who's Who 2017 , A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2017; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016; online edn, Nov 2016 accessed 4 July 2017
  2. 1 2 "Canon Jonathan Draper appointed Dean of Exeter Cathedral". BBC News. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Jonathan Lee Draper" . Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing . Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  4. 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.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Dean of Exeter appointed". Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  6. 1 2 "Canon Theologian of York Minster named as new Dean of Exeter". Diocese of York. Church of England. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  7. "Dean Jonathan announced his retirement". Exeter Cathedral. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  8. 1 2 Bohan, Kieran (3 July 2017). "Meet our new General Secretary". Modern Church. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  9. "General Secretary for Modern Church" (pdf). Modern Church. 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. "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
Succeeded by
Jonathan Greener