Revd Dr Martin Dudley


Born in Birmingham and educated at King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, I took evening courses at Queen’s (with Frances Young) before going on to read Theology at King’s College, London, where I was taught by some of the greats of 1970s scholars, including C.F. Evans, Peter Ackroyd, Keith Ward and Colin Gunton. Having focused on historical theology in my BD, I continued with a master’s degree (MTh) dealing with the Church’s response to 19th century movements in science, history and philosophy. After a year at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, I was ordained as a deacon  in Llandaff Cathedral and served my curacy in Cardiff before becoming vicar of a rural parish in Hertfordshire. Already interested in liturgical studies, I was the diocesan liturgical secretary, taught on the St Alban’s Ministerial Training Scheme and became the Secretary of the Alcuin Club. I also served on the Church Union Theological Committee.

During my second incumbency I pursued research on ‘The Crisis of Priestly Identity in the Roman Catholic Church’ and received a PhD from the University of London in 1994; I was also on the staff of the short-lived Simon of Cyrene Theological Institute and a Visiting Scholar at the General Theological Seminary in New York.

I became Rector of St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield, in the City of London in 1995, and was elected to the Court of Common Council, the City’s governing body, in 2002. I took early retirement from the Parish, after a six-month sabbatical at the University of Helsinki, at the end of 2016 and moved back to Birmingham with the intention of returning to research (as well as being able to enjoy the CBSO, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, and the Welsh National Opera).

I am a governor of Summerfield Primary School in Winson Green and trustee of the William Dudley Trust, founded by my great great grand uncle, which supports students at the Jewellery School. I am also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

BD AKC1977King’s College, London
MTh1978King’s College, London
PhD1994King’s College, London
MSc2006Cass Business School, City University
DArts (hon.causa)2014City University
Roles and Responsibilities
I have taught liturgy, sacramental theology and Anglican studies.

I am a priest of the Church in Wales/Church of England with nearly 40 years experience of parish ministry in rural, suburban, housing-estate and City-centre parishes, but currently worship with local Greek and Russian Orthodox communities in Birmingham.

I am an experienced charity trustee, school and museum governor and local councillor, with particular interests in community and children’s services and health and well-being

Research Interests and Supervision Areas
My main research areas cross the boundaries between liturgy, sacramental theology, church history, patristics, and church architecture, and I have written on all these topics, also contributing to dictionaries and encyclopaedias, and writing books on devotional aspects of the liturgical year.

My research in Helsinki, which is continuing, involves the possible interaction between Christian beliefs about the body expressed in the liturgy and believers’ attitudes to the body; this has given rise to some ideas about how people process their church-going experience and relate it to their other world views.  I have been using qualitative research methods in pursuing this.  I am currently also taking an active interest in Orthodox Liturgy (after six months spent worshipping at a Russian Orthodox Church), its structure, texts (and languages) and physical environment.

My experience of running a major City church led me to a greater interest in governance in churches and charities together with the problems and opportunities that arise with trustee bodies and parish church councils, and I have co-authored three books on the subject. Better and more fruitful governance remains an interest, together with what can be learned from secular bodies.

I would be interested in supervising Masters and Doctoral dissertations on any aspect of liturgy, worship and sacramental theology.

Books (as author or co-author)

  • Serving the
    Virginia Rounding) London: SPCK 2006
  • The Parish
    Survival Guide
    Virginia Rounding) London: SPCK 2006
  • Crowning the
    Year: Autumn in the Christian Tradition
    London: SPCK 2003
  • Churchwardens:
    A Survival guide

    (with Virginia Rounding) London: SPCK 2003; new edition 2009
  • Risen,
    Ascended, Glorified
    SPCK 2002
  • A Herald
    Voice: The Word of God in Advent and Christmas
    London: SPCK 2000
  • Ashes to
    Glory: Meditations for Lent and Holy Week
    London: SPCK 1999
  • Humanity
    & Healing

    London: DLT 1998
  • A Manual of
    Ministry to the Sick

    London: SPCK 1997
  • The Collect
    in Anglican Liturgy: Texts & Sources
    Collegeville: Liturgical Press 1994

Books (as editor or co-editor and contributor

  • Like a Two-Edged-Sword: the Word of God in Liturgy and History; essays in honour of Canon Donald Gray. Norwich: The Canterbury Press 1995
  • The Oil of Gladness: anointing in the Christian Tradition (with Geoffrey Rowell) London: SPCK 1993
  • Confession and Absolution (with Geoffrey Rowell) London: SPCK 1990

Journal articles and chapters

  • Several entries in David Loades (editor),  Reader’s Guide to British History London: Routledge 2003
  • Articles in Paul Bradshaw (editor), New SCM dictionary of Liturgy & Worship London: SCM 2002 (Absolution; Absolution Prayer; Absolutions of the Dead; Altar, Altar Hangings; Altar Rails; Baldachin; Baptistery; Catechism; Ceremonial; Collect’ Colours, Liturgical; Consecration of Churches; Frontal; Movements in Worship; Procession; Reredos; Riddel, Ridle; Rogation Days; Rubrics; Three Hours Devotion)
  • “Sacramental Liturgies in the Middle Ages” in T. J. Heffernan, and E. A. Matter (eds).  The Liturgy of the Medieval Church.  Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University, 2001
  • “Natalis Innocentum: The Holy Innocents in Liturgy and Drama,” in Diana Wood (editor), The Church and  Childhood.  Oxford:Blackwell 1994, pp. 233-242
  • “The Lectionary” in Michael Perham (editor) Towards Liturgy 2000 London:SPCK 1993
  • “Danger and Glory: Priesthood in the Writings of John Chrysostom,”  Studia Patristica, Vol. XXVII, Leuven-Paris: Peeters 1993
  • “Liturgy and Doctrine: Corpus Christi.” Worship 66 (1992): 417-426
  • “Honesty and Consecration: Paul Tillich’s Criteria for a Religious Architecture,” Diana Wood (editor), The Church and the Arts.  Oxford:Blackwell 1992, pp. 515-522
  • “The monastic priest” in Monastic Studies 2 Judith Loades: Bangor 1991, pp. 183-192
  • “On Reading Rahner”  Scottish Journal of Theology, 37: 1 (1984)
  • “Waiting on the Common Mind: Authority in Anglicanism”, One in Christ, 20(1) 1984, 62-77
  • “Is ordination a sacrament? An answer to Anthony Hanson,” The Heythrop Journal 1983 Vol 24 (2)

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