The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, will preach at a service of Choral Evensong in the Chapel on Sunday 27 January 2019. This will be Archbishop Justin’s first visit to the College since he assumed office in 2013; as Archbishop of Canterbury he is also the College’s Visitor - the supreme ecclesiastical authority in the College. Until the nineteenth century it was the Visitor who chose the Warden from three names submitted to him by the Fellows. The previous Archbishop, Rowan Williams, preached in the Chapel and dined at the College in 2006.
The Acting Warden, Professor Steven Gunn, said:
"Our Visitors have played a helpful and encouraging role in the life of the College for more than seven hundred years and it is an honour and a pleasure to welcome Archbishop Justin on his visit to Oxford."
The College’s Chaplain, The Revd Canon Dr Simon Jones, said:
"In recent years the College Choir and Girls’ Choir have sung for the College of Bishops during their annual meeting in Oxford. We’re delighted that, on this occasion, we’re able to welcome Archbishop Justin to Merton as our preacher, and to celebrate the important relationship between the College and its Visitor."
The service, which begins at 5:45pm, will be sung by the Choir of Merton College. Members of the public are most welcome to attend, and are advised to arrive when the Chapel opens at 5:15pm. The lessons will be read by Emily Capstick, President of the Merton JCR, and Professor Gunn, and a collection will be taken in support of community projects run by two Coptic monasteries in Egypt. A recording of the service will later be made available on our Choir webcasts page.