The Revd Canon Dr Peter Groves


Fr Peter Groves has been parish priest of St Mary Magdalen’s since 2005. A Londoner by birth and upbringing, he came to Oxford as an undergraduate student, where he completed a BA and then a DPhil in Theology at New College. After training for the ministry at Westcott House in Cambridge, he served his curacy in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, before returning to Oxford in 1999. Before being appointed to the parish as Priest-in-charge, he was Chaplain and Fellow of Brasenose College, and he continues to be a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford. He is married to Beatrice, who teaches English Literature at Trinity College, and they have two sons, Michael and Edward. Peter remains a passionate advocate for the study of Theology, especially in relation to the arts, and has particular interests in Shakespeare, Wagner and Gerard Manley Hopkins. He indulges a vice called quizzing from time to time, but his greatest obsession remains Queens Park Rangers FC, where he is a season ticket holder.

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Associate Priest

The Revd Dr Jarred Mercer


Fr Jarred Mercer was Assistant Curate at St Mary Magdalen's from 2015 to 2018 and since has been Associate Priest. He is from Florida, USA, but came to the UK in 2009 for postgraduate study at St Andrews and then Oxford, and was also a doctoral researcher at École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris (2012-2013). He trained for ordination at St Stephen's House. Jarred believes that theology is primarily for the enrichment of the Church and the benefit of the whole world. This means it belongs as much in the pulpit and pub as the university lecture hall. His passions include music, film, travel, books, books, books, politics, and raising young activists (i.e., his children: Noah, Owen, and Elspeth). His interests used to include rock climbing and backpacking, but proper grown-up life has gotten in the way of these things the past decade. Jarred is married to Chelsea, who is much more fun and likeable than he is.

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Associate Priest

The Revd Dr Jonathan Jong


Fr Jonathan Jong was Assistant Curate at St Mary Magdalen's from 2014 to 2018. Besides serving here, he is also an experimental psychologist at Coventry and Oxford. Prior to his arrival to Oxford, he grew up in Malaysian Borneo and then read experimental psychology at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Most of his research is about the cognitive bases of religiosity, the fear of death, and group bonding. He has a minor obsession with dinosaurs. He is married to Ella Mae, who helps to run Apolitical, a global network for government.

For more information about Fr Jonathan's academic work, visit http://www.jonathanjong.ninja

07799 271 913

Churchwarden and Safeguarding Officer

Nigel Timms


Nigel Timms was born in Rugby, UK in 1953, and grew up on the Wirral. He read music at Durham University, and after a two-year work experience as a bus driver in the North East bowed to the inevitable and became a teacher. Moving to Oxfordshire, he worked first at Gosford Hill School in Kidlington, teaching Music and Drama, and then at Beachborough Preparatory School near Brackley, adding English, Latin, and Religious Studies to his repertoire. During this time he wrote and produced fifteen plays for schoolchildren, many of them based on classic stories such as Treasure Island. He also made cut-down versions of eight Shakespeare plays for school performance. Nigel has (almost!) retired from teaching, and is concentrating on writing. He is married to the composer Helen Roe: they have three grown up sons, and a black cat who is called Rug because he looks like a rug and is always under your feet.



Nigel Speight


Nigel Speight was Head of an English Dept, and ran a small Mail Order business for 20 years. He now runs two websites and remains a journalist. A graduate of St John’s, he had planned to marry there, only to find their chapel closed for refurbishment. They crossed the road to Mary Mags and found a lovely bunch of people at worship in a beautiful but quirky medieval building with magnificent music. The rest is history.


Safeguarding Officer

Susan Weavers


Susan was born in Oxford and trained to be a librarian at Loughborough University, then worked in in south London in public libraries for a few years. On her return to Oxford, Susan worked for Blackwells as a Customer Services Manager and was fortunate to travel to America, Asia and Europe in this role. Susan then chose to transfer to working in mental health and trained to be an Independent Mental Health Advocate; she now has extensive experience of working in statutory and voluntary mental health services.
Susan is married to Ken; they were married at St Mary Magdalen in Father Hugh’s time, and have an affectionate cat called Phoebe!


Director of Music

Will Dawes


Will Dawes is Director of Music at the church of St Mary Magdalen's; Director of Chapel Music of Somerville College, Oxford; and Director of Frideswide Voices (Oxford’s first liturgical choir for 7-14 year-old girls). He is studied Choral Conducting and Singing at RAM, and has since directed numerous excellent choral societies and chamber choirs across the UK. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2018.

Will is active as a consort singer and is a member of the internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Stile Antico. The group performs all over the globe, including concerts in the Wigmore Hall, at the BBC Proms, and in 2018 performed at the Grammy's in Madison Square Garden. He is a former Lay Clerk of Christ Church, Oxford, and has sung with Collegium Vocale Gent, The Cardinall's Musick, Magnificat, and Polyphony.

As a soloist, Will has sung works such as Carmina Burana (Orff), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), and The Wound Dresser (Adams) as well as more canonic works by Bach and Handel. His one and only operatic role to date is that of Mr Gedge in Albert Herring.

For further information, including forthcoming performances, please visit http://www.willdawes.co.uk



David Allen


David Allen is an award-winning composer of film, theatre, choral and concert music. He has collaborated with and had works performed by the BBC Singers, Oxford Philomusica, the Royal College of Music and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, as well as having worked with several award-winning filmmakers. In addition to composition, David is frequently in demand as a conductor, pianist, and organist throughout the UK.

For further information, including forthcoming performances, please visit