Emma Percy

  • I was in the first class of women priests ordained by the Church of England in 1994.
  • I organise chapel services in college and offer pastoral care to the community.
  • I undertake research and writing on the themes of theology and mothering and the theology of care.
Emma Percy


As the College Chaplain and Fellow, I carry a range of responsibilities at Trinity. The Chaplain offers pastoral care for the College community, covering staff, students, fellows and alumni. I am trained in supportive listening and have a wide experience of pastoral work. I oversee the Chapel, the organ scholars and the Chapel Choir providing regular services in term time and conducting special services to mark important college events. The chapel hosts Weddings, Baptisms Funerals and Memorial services.

Our Chapel welcomes everyone to its services. As part of the Historic foundation of the college it is a Church of England chapel and I am ordained as an Anglican. We also host services conducted by the RC Chaplains and welcome others to use this holy space. We are an inclusive community and encourage open discussion about faith and ethics. I am always happy to talk to those who are exploring their faith or wanting suggestions for reading on particular topics.

The college is a diverse community welcoming people of different faiths and I meet regularly with chaplains representing other faith groups. I am keen to support students in living out their faith and appropriately marking religious festivals. I am the Equality and Diversity Fellow and chair the Equality and Diversity Committee (from October 2020).

I have a strong interest in issues of gender and work in the field of feminist and practical theology. My doctoral research has provided the basis for two monographs. An academic study – Mothering as a Metaphor for Ministry (2014), and a more popular book – What Clergy Do: Especially when it looks like nothing (2014). I write for a number of theological journals, and have also recently co-edited the Handbook of the Study of Ministry (2019). I continue to research, write and speak about theologies of resistance, feminism, mothering, ministry and theologies of care. I am the Chair of Women and the Church (WATCH) a charity working for gender justice in the church. I sit on a National Research Ethics committee as a lay member. I am an Honorary Canon of Christ Church Cathedral.

I read History at Cambridge, studied Theology in Durham (where I also trained for ordination), and hold a PhD awarded from Nottingham University in 2012. I was ordained deacon in 1990 and then priest in 1994. This was the year the Church of England first ordained women as priests and it has been a privilege to be part of that first generation. I came to Trinity as the Chaplain in 2005, having previously been a vicar in Sheffield.