The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones has been Chaplain of Merton since 2002. As well as being responsible for the day to day life of the Chapel, Simon also co-ordinates the various College welfare bodies and convenes the College's Student Support Committee and Chapel & Patronage Committee. He is always happy to speak in confidence with any member of College (regardless of religious affiliation) concerning any matter.
Ben's work at Merton has included the founding of the annual Passiontide Festival, the installation of the Dobson Organ and the creation of the College's Girls' Choir, which sang for the first time in October 2016. He has conducted the College Choir in concerts in the USA, Italy, Sweden and France, on BBC Radio 3 & 4 and BBC TV, and on a series of recordings for Delphian, the first of which was a Gramophone Editor's Choice. His other recordings include discs of Weelkes, Mozart, Stainer, Stanford, Rutter, Gabriel Jackson, Richard Allain, and the organ works of Elgar.
Ben has conducted many first performances, and premiered a new work by Charlotte Bray with the City of London Sinfonia in Southwark Cathedral. In the Cheltenham Music Festival he premiered new choral works by Judith Weir, Hannah Kendall, Dobrinka Tabakova and Kerry Andrew, and at Merton he has commissioned Birtwistle, Dove, MacMillan, Jackson and Joubert.
Associate Chaplain and Career Development Researcher
The Revd Dr Jarred Mercer is originally from Florida, USA, but came to the UK in 2009. He completed his Masters degree at the University of St Andrews and his DPhil here at Oxford (The Queen's College), and was a visiting doctoral researcher at École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris from 2012-2013. Jarred trained for ordination at St Stephen's House. He was ordained deacon on 4 July 2015 and priest on 26 June 2016. He was curate at St Mary Magdalen, Oxford for two years, combining this with a role as Junior Chaplain here at Merton. Jarred's research interests are primarily in early Christianity and his doctoral thesis was on Hilary of Poitiers. While continuing to work in this area, he is currently beginning research on the spirituality of children in late antiquity. Jarred is married to Chelsea and they have three children: Noah, Owen, and Elspeth.
Chapel Administrator:Sarah Cotterill. Sarah is the Chaplain’s PA and provides administrative support for the Chapel and Choral Foundation.
Verger:Leah Collins. Leah is responsible for the daily running and upkeep of the Chapel. She helps with the organisation and setting up of services, as well as overseeing concerts and outside events.
A number of students assist with the running of the Chapel. Chapel Wardens welcome people to services, arrange readers and servers for the main Sunday evening service and send out the weekly Chapel email. The sacristans light candles and ring the bells before services and often serve at the Sunday evening Eucharist. The Chapel Clerk arranges the rota of weekday readers. This year's officers are:
Student Chapel Officers: Victor Ajuwon, Adrian Burbie, Molly Clark, Tim Foot, Margaret Frainier, Henry Grub, Rob Lentz, Tom Lousada, Beth McCullagh, Gian Piero Milani, Thomas Nightingale, Oliver Pateman & Audrey Southgate.
Pastoral Assistants: Dominik Chmielewski, Catherine Haydon & Sebastian Jones.
Carys Lane and Giles Underwood are the College's Vocal Coaches. They work with the Choral Scholars on a regular basis whilst continuing to give concerts both in the UK and abroad.
Patron of the College Choir
Peter Phillips, founder and director of The Tallis Scholars, is Patron of the College Choir. It was Peter’s idea that the College should consider establishing a Choral Foundation. Along with Benjamin Nicholas, he was a Reed Rubin Director of Music from 2008, a post he held until 2016. His involvement included recordings, tours and broadcasts, as well as conducting the choir on a number of occasions each term. The College is enormously grateful for Peter’s enthusiasm for the Choral Foundation and is delighted that he has accepted the honorary position of Patron. Peter is also a Bodley Fellow of the College.