Rt Revd John Pritchard - ASWA Patron
John was born in Salford (under the shadow of Manchester United floodlights), the son of a clergyman. John was determined not to be ordained himself as there was no money in it and you never saw your father! John went to Arnold School in Blackpool, and then read law at St Peter's College, Oxford. His summer job was as a Blackpool tram conductor, so he has seen Blackpool Illuminations more times than anyone could reasonably want.
Whilst at Oxford John recognised his calling to the priesthood, and after his degree went on to do a Diploma in Theology at Oxford, and then a Certificate in Pastoral Theology at Ridley Hall in Cambridge. He later completed an M.Litt. in Pastoral Theology at Durham. He was ordained in 1972. His curacy was at St Martin's in the Bull Ring in Birmingham until 1976, when he became Youth Chaplain to the diocese of Bath and Wells. From there he moved in 1980 to become priest in charge of a large and lively parish in Taunton, contributing regularly to local radio and newspapers.
In 1988 he became Director of Pastoral Studies at Cranmer Hall, the Church of England's theological college in St John's College Durham. He became Warden in 1993, and had responsibility for training men and women for ordained and other ministries. After eight years in Durham, John moved in 1996 to become Archdeacon of Canterbury and Canon Residentiary of Canterbury Cathedral, but returned to Durham to be consecrated as Bishop of Jarrow in January 2002.
John is deeply committed to the encouragement and care of the clergy. He enjoys a wide teaching ministry in this country and abroad, and relishes making the Christian faith accessible and attractive. In June 2007 he was installed as Bishop of Oxford where he is relishing getting to know one of the largest dioceses in the Church of England and the complex sociological fabric of the Thames Valley. His national commitments include work with the Ministry Division of the Church of England, the Church Army, The Church Commissioners, SPCK and the Guild of Health. He is President of St John's College, Durham.
While at Durham he co-wrote ‘Practical Theology in Action' for SPCK in 1996. He has continued writing for SPCK - ‘The Intercessions Handbook' in 1997, ‘Beginning Again' in 2000, ‘Living the Gospel Stories Today' in 2001, ‘How to Pray' in 2002. ‘The Second Intercessions Handbook' came out in November 2004; ‘Living Easter through the Year' in 2005 and ‘How to Explain your Faith' in 2006. ‘The Life and Work of a Priest', was published in July 2007 and ‘Going to Church: a Users' Guide' in 2009.
John is married to Wendy, and they have two daughters - Amanda and Nicola. Amanda was married in Canterbury Cathedral in 2001, and is Deputy Chief Executive of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. Nicola was married in Durham cathedral in 2003 and is a Youth Strategy Worker near Edinburgh. Wendy was a Maths teacher for many years, but has happily accepted a support role in Oxford, majoring on parents, grandchildren, the garden and keeping John on the road. John's hobbies and interests include armchair sport, fell walking, photography, travel, music, art, reading, and recovering!