Gavin Ashenden lives partly in Shropshire and partly in Normandy.He grew up in S.W. London, and then Kent, and was educated at the King’s School in Canterbury. After originally reading Law at Bristol University intent on a career at the bar, he found himself with a vocation to the priesthood. He trained at Oak Hill Theological College studying theology. He was ordained by + Mervyn Stockwood in Southwark Cathedral in 1980, and was appointed to a curacy in Bermondsey.
He spent the next ten years as a parish priest.. His curacy was at St James’, Bermondsey, then a docklands parish along the river Thames by Tower Bridge, and subsequently became Vicar of a Church on the edge of South London.
During the 1980’s when he was also vice-chair of Keston College, he was involved in smuggling bibles and medicine into the former Soviet Union, and samizdat out -for publication in the West. The experiences of being occasionally arrested and interrogated by the KGB and other security services played an important part in the development of his views on totalitarianism.
After postgraduate study in the Psychology of Religion with the Jesuits at Heythrop College in the University of London , he then completed a doctorate on the life and work of the Oxford Inkling, Charles Williams, and subsequently published ‘Alchemy and Integration- A study of the Life of writing of Charles Williams. (Kent State University Press).
He spent 23 years at the University of Sussex as a senior lecturer and senior chaplain, lecturing in the Psychology of Religion, Literature, and convening an MA programme in Monotheist Mysticism.
During this period he was also employed freelance by the BBC to present a weekly Faith and Ethics radio programme for four years. He also become Presenter of the the international Faith & Ethics podcast.
He has published on the Oxford Inklings and CS Lewis in particular, writing Op Ed pieces for the London Times, and occasional articles and book reviews in the Church Times.
He was a member of the General Synod of the Church of England for 20 years, and was appointed one of the Canon Theologians at Chichester Cathedral. He is a member of the Society of the Sacred Cross.
In 2008 he was appointed a Chaplain to the Queen (2008-2017).He spent a number of years as a member of the ecumenical priestly fraternity of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Charles de Foucauld)
He has lectured in the USA as a visiting theologian for the Lutheran Church in Oregon, spoken at a variety of Diocesan Conferences in the UK, and represented the Church of England as a delegate to the World Council of Churches.
In 2017 and he resigned from his chaplaincy to the Queen in order to be free to speak out for the faith in the contested public forum, and subsequently appeared on media outlets across the world, including Fox News in the USA and the Bolt Report in Australia.
Convinced that the consecration of women to the episcopate represented the replacement of apostolic and biblical patterns with the competing culture of the values of Cultural Marxism, and dissenting from the increasing accommodation of the Church of England to radical secular views on gender, he resigned from the Church of England in 2017.
On the Feast of St Michael and All Angels 2017, the Archbishop of the Christian Episcopal Church announced that Dr Ashenden had been consecrated as a Missionary bishop to the UK and Europe.
Press Release from the Archbishop of the Christian Episcopal Church.
The Feast of St Michael and All Angels
September 29th 2017 :
Former Queen’s Chaplain Consecrated as Missionary Bishop to Anglicans in
the UK and Europe.
The Christian Episcopal Church of Canada and the USA, has announced the consecration in Vancouver, BC, during the course of an Episcopal Synod, of the Rt. Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, a former Chaplain to the Queen, as missionary bishop to the United Kingdom and Europe.
Bishop Ashenden is charged with the responsibility of working as closely and collaboratively as possible with those Anglicans who are committed to remaining faithful to orthodox Christianity. In particular with the Free Church of England and the ‘Unity Forum’ that has been created to achieve that unity of purpose and action in the UK.
The Right Reverend John Fenwick, convenor of the Unity Forum, said: ‘Gavin’s stand for orthodoxy has been an encouragement to Anglicans in the UK and beyond. We look forward to working closely with him as we face the challenges that lie ahead.’
The Christian Episcopal Church is a traditionalist Anglican Denomination which originally emerged from The Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) in the 1980s in response to the capitulation of that Church to secular values and priorities.
Its bishops celebrate the fact that their Orders derive from both Anglican and Roman Catholic successions, and so offer potential for mutual recognition and collaboration in ecumenical relationships. At the same time their commitment to the Gospel and the Scriptures has created powerful alliances across the evangelical and charismatic spectrum.
As the Church of England is in the process of abandoning Christian teaching on culture, sexuality, marriage and the uniqueness of Christian revelation, the Bishops of the Christian Episcopal Church believed that it was their responsibility to offer a renewed episcopal oversight and encouragement to those Anglicans in the UK and Europe who had become distressed and disillusioned by the changes of direction and the adoption of secular values by the Church of England.
Dr Ashenden trained originally in the law, and was ordained as an Anglican priest in Southwark Cathedral in 1980. He worked in parishes in South London for ten years before becoming a University Chaplain and a lecturer in the Psychology of Religion for 23 years.
He holds degrees in Law, Theology, the Psychology of Religion and a doctorate on the work of the Anglican theologian and poet, Charles Williams. He was a member of the General Synod for 20 years.
He was appointed as one of the Canon theologians at Chichester Cathedral, and in 2008 as a Chaplain to the Queen. He was a presenter for the BBC Radio’s Faith and Ethics programmes for four years and has written as a columnist for the both the Times and Church Times. In 2017 he resigned as Chaplain to the Queen so that he could speak out more freely in the wake of the Quranic readings in Glasgow Cathedral which denied the divinity of Christ.
The Most Rev’d Theodore Casimes,
Archbishop of the Christian Episcopal Church in the United States,
Bishop Co-adjutor of the Christian Episcopal Church in Canada, Bishop of the Diocese of Seattle.