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Photo: Alan Ramsey

The Rev'd James Crockford

Fellow, Welfare Tutor, Dean of Chapel
Theology and Music

James Crockford is the College’s Dean of Chapel, offering pastoral support to all in College. He is responsible for the life of the College’s beautiful Chapel, leading daily worship and facilitating opportunities for reflection and discussion on a wide range of issues.

Academic interests

James Crockford’s academic interests include: 

  • Theology and music
  • Theological aesthetics
  • Musical aesthetics
  • Hermeneutics and semiotics
  • Augustine of Hippo.

Degrees obtained

  • BA, Music, Nottingham.
  • BA, Theology and Religious Studies, Cantab.
  • MPhil Theology and Religious Studies, Cantab.

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music.


James Crockford grew up in Derbyshire and Kent, before reading Music at the University of Nottingham. He is a saxophonist and keyboardist, and aged 21 was awarded, with distinction, a Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music.

After four years working in church community projects, he came to Cambridge to read for a Tripos and MPhil in Theology at Trinity Hall, whilst training for ordination at Ridley Hall. He was lead saxophone in Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra, and principal saxophone in CUMS Symphony Orchestra. He was winner of the inaugural Trinity Hall Instrumental Award, enabling him to study with Professor Simon Haram at the Royal Academy of Music.

James served a curacy in Crayford on the edge of south-east London, before moving to be Associate Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford and Honorary Chaplain at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is currently engaged in doctoral study on Augustine of Hippo’s poetics, and writes on the relation of music and theology.

Other interests

Dog-walking with his beagle, hiking the Camino de Santiago, swimming, jazz, gardening, reading.

Publications, links and resources

  • Crockford, J. (2017), Get Happy: Luther and the power of musical affect, LOGIA XXVI(1), January 2017, pp 47-52.
  • Crockford, J. (2016), Performing music, performing faith, Theology 119(1), January 2016.

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