Eternal Christendom logo
Gavin Ashenden

Gavin Ashenden

Theologian, Writer, Commentator
Former Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II

“It is a significant privilege to be invited to take part in this imaginative initiative to preserve, celebrate and disseminate the best of the Christian experience and understanding as it has been handed down to us in the Great Tradition. I think it’s the most exciting project, perhaps I’ve ever seen.

We live at a moment of cultural, civilisational, and spiritual crisis in which the Church is called to a reinvigoration and reimagination of the way in which she acts as a steward of her treasures. God has given us a noble and demanding responsibility to defend the integrity of the Church and articulate the need of humanity for all the riches she contains.

I have been impressed, delighted and profoundly encouraged by this project and look forward with a keen anticipation to playing whatever part I can in its realisation.”


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, he found himself with a vocation to the Anglican priesthood.

He studied theology in London, (while also spending a formative period at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St John’s Tolleshunt Knights.) He was ordained by + Mervyn Stockwood in Southwark Cathedral in 1980, and was appointed to a curacy in Bermondsey, a river side parish by the old London docks.

Over the next ten years he acted as a parish priest; curate at St James’, Bermondsey, and subsequently as a  Vicar of a Church on a housing estate 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 clandestinely carrying samizdat out -for publication in the West. In Czechoslovakia he smuggled theology books to furnish the underground Catholic Church with the means to train men for the priesthood after the state banned all ordinations. The experiences of being occasionally arrested and interrogated by the KGB and other security services while visiting played an important part in the development of his views on totalitarianism and awareness of the threat that Marxism posed to the faith.

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. He created and convened an MA programme in Monotheistic Mysticism.

During this period he was also employed freelance by the BBC to present a weekly Faith and Ethics radio programme between 2008 and 2012.  He also Presented the BBC’s 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  the Daily Telegraph; between 2013 and 2020 wrote a weekly column for the Jersey Evening Post. and 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  theological canonries  at Chichester Cathedral. He was a member of the Society of the Holy Cross and also spent a number of years as a member of the ecumenical priestly fraternity of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Charles de Foucauld)

In 2008 he was appointed a Chaplain to the Queen (2008-2017).

He has lectured in various parts of the USA, was the key note speaker at variety of Diocesan Conferences in the UK, and represented the Church of England as a delegate to the World Council of Churches In Harare.

In 2017 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.

Believing  that the consecration of women to the episcopate represented a fatal breach with the Church of England’s Catholic orders, he  resigned from  the Church of England in 2017, and was subsequently consecrated as a Missionary bishop of the Christian Episcopal  to the UK and Europe. It became apparent that attempts to coalesce conservative Anglicans into cooperative ecclesial bodies was unrealisable without any form of magisterium.

On Sunday 22nd of December, the 4th Sunday of Advent, Dr Ashenden was received into the Roman Catholic Church by + Mark Davies at Shrewsbury Cathedral.

In 2021 he was appointed Associate editor of the Catholic Herald contributing weekly articles and hosting ‘Merely Catholic’ the weekly podcast.

He is regularly interviewed by the British media as a commentator on current affairs, by outlets including GB News, LBC, the BBC, and has been/is published in both the Times and the Daily Telegraph.

He runs two YouTube channels Ashenden Scripted and Catholic Unscripted (with two colleagues), offering Catholic commentary and spirituality within the Church and beyond it.