Friends of the Cathedral

Friends committee membersWho are the Friends?

The Friends of Christ Church Cathedral love, support and pray for the Cathedral and its work. Members include those who have a deep affection for the House and/or the Cathedral. They may live locally within the Diocese of Oxford, elsewhere in the UK or overseas. Many members of the clergy join the Friends because they were ordained in the Cathedral. Some are volunteers, and others ex-choristers or their families.

What do the Friends do?

The Friends raise funds to support the maintenance, restoration, repair, conservation and beautification of the Cathedral. In recent years our support has helped:

•    Restoration of the St Frideswide Shrine
•    Lighting and sound systems
•    Installation of the glass doors
•    New seating for the Crossings and aisles
•    Recording projects for the Cathedral Choir
•    Support of choristers
•    Renovation of the West End of the Cathedral

The Friends work to draw the Diocese and Cathedral more closely together, widening awareness of the Cathedral’s presence and contributing to its ministry and mission.

Our events

Dinner in the cathedralWe run an annual programme of outings and activities for Friends. Many of our events have been cancelled or curtailed due to the pandemic, but we are beginning to resume our activities. See below.

Why join the Friends?

Friends enjoy:
•    A Membership pass to Christ Church Cathedral
•    10 per cent discount on purchases from the Chapter House Shop
•    A Spring Newsletter and an Annual Report
•    A programme of outings and activities including a summer garden party in Christ Church and a dedicated Friends’ Christmas Carol Service followed by supper in Hall.
•    Admission without charge to the Christ Church Picture Gallery.

Elizabeth HarrisonElizabeth Harrison
Hon. Secretary, Friends of Christ Church Cathedral
Priory Room Office, Christ Church, Oxford OX1 1DP
Phone: 01865 286003 and Mobile 07711 294871

You will be warmly welcomed as a Friend. If you are already a member, perhaps you might invite someone else to join, or take out a membership as a gift?

Friends of Christ Church Cathedral


Enews no.2 May 2021


The 81st Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral will take place at 4.30pm on Saturday, 26 June 2021 in the marquee in the Master’s Garden or in the Sir Michael Dummett Lecture Theatre, Christ Church. Items for the Agenda should reach the Hon. Secretary by 1 June 2021

The good news that social distancing is to be relaxed will allow the Events Working Group to re-convene. We hope to be able to put together a programme of activities for the period from September 2021 to February 2022 and to send out flyers with this year’s Annual Report. We have so missed the gatherings of Friends and are keen to resume. Meantime, there are two events in the diary.

  • The summer event will take place on Saturday 26 June, from 2pm until 4pm. For the first hour the group will be able to hear Joseph Denby, Cathedral Operations Office, talk about the installation of the live-streaming system which has been so valuable during the pandemic and also to visit the SubDean’s garden. At 3pm , in the marquee in the Master’s Garden, we will welcome back to Christ Church Katie McKeogh who will talk on Being a Catholic in Elizabethan England. For the moment we are unsure whether it will be possible for tea to be served so, although the event will be ticketed, there will be no charge levied. Application  for ticket/s can be made directly to the Hon. Secretary.
  • The Friends’ Christmas  service of Five Lessons and Carols, with the Cathedral Choir, is scheduled for Monday 20 December 2021. In the spirit of optimism, the Hall has been booked for supper (Hoorah!) and its availability should be confirmed by the time the Annual Report is sent out.

Change of Membership Secretary

The Council of Friends has been joined by Glynis Baguley who is taking on the role of Honorary Membership Secretary vice John Lardner. We very much look forward to working with her.

In the interregnum, it was not possible to distribute updated Membership cards to Single and Joint Members as we usually do each March. New cards will be sent in March 2022. Although your status as a Friend is unlikely to be challenged, anyone who is anxious may apply for an updated card. 

2020-2021 Annual Report

Preparation  is underway for the publication of the past year’s activities in our Annual Report which is planned to go out in August. As ever, contributors are generous but what is amazing is the innovation and changes in practice which evolved over the duration of the pandemic. Live-streaming (installation funded by the Friends) of services has been pivotal for members of congregation, the Diocese and the wider Christian family.

Image of Elizabeth Harrison with Sub Dean Fr Richard PeersRoyal Maundy

In March an envelope of impressive quality bearing the stamp of EIIR arrived in my mailbox. In it was a letter from the Lord High Almoner informing me that my name had been submitted by Bishop Steven to be one of this year’s Maundy recipients. Such a surprise and thrill -  to be followed early in Holy Week by delivery of the Maundy purses, red and white, (containing ninety-five pence and five pounds, fifty pence respectively) from The Queen with an accompanying letter from Her Majesty.

It would be usual for The Queen to distribute the Maundy gifts of specially minted coins to the Recipients at a Service on Maundy Thursday. In 2013 Christ Church had the privilege of hosting the Royal Maundy Service when David Burnside and Jean Spurge were Recipients. It was a grand and happy occasion. This year the service, but for Covid19, would have been in Westminster Abbey. Penny Keens, a Member of the Council of Friends, was a Recipient in 2019.

So with David, Jean and Penny, I am in excellent company. I am delighted and hugely appreciative of  the honour which is not simply personal but can be seen as a tribute to the success of the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral.

Addendum to Privacy Policy

Membership data (names, addresses and subscription records) are now being stored on a PC within the Christ Church firewall. There are no changes to the management of data by the Honorary Membership Secretary except that it will now be more secure and processed more tightly in line with Data Protection legislation. If you have any queries, please contact the Membership Secretary, Glynis Baguley, the first instance, or Christ Church’s Data Protection Compliance Manager, Judith Curthoys.

With all good wishes

Elizabeth Harrison, Honorary Secretary


Events are still limited at the moment as we emerge from the pandemic.

SATURDAY 26 June 2021


2– 2.50pm Group to assemble in the Ante-chapel of the Cathedral where it will be divided. One set will stay in the Cathedral for a talk on the live-streaming facility whilst the second set may visit the SubDean’s garden. Around 2.25pm the groups will exchange places.

3– 4pm Talk in the marquee in the Master’s Garden (If Covid restrictions allow the talk will take place in the Sir Michael Dummett Lecture Theatre (formerly Blue Boar Lecture Theatre)


Speaker:  Katie McKeogh

Following a first degree in History and English Literature at the University of Durham, Katie moved to Oxford in 2011 to begin a Masters and then DPhil in History (awarded 2018). She focuses on the extraordinary transformation of English society in the 16th and 17th centuries, concentrating on the ways in which English Catholics shaped, and were shaped by, English culture. Her broader research interests include British cultural and religious history, the history of the book, and music.

In the 25 years or so between Henry VIII’s decision to break with Rome and the accession of Elizabeth I, English people experienced three dramatic religious changes. Many Elizabethan adults had grown up through all of these changes and could not have imagined in 1558 that their new queen, Henry’s daughter Elizabeth, would rule for the next 47 years. Elizabeth’s famous ‘middle way’ between conservative Catholicism and zealously reformed Protestantism along Puritan lines established England as a Protestant state, and successive legal measures not only enshrined this but made Catholicism illegal. Elizabeth’s reign, a so-called ‘Golden Age’ of English culture, saw a process of redefinition of what it meant to be English, and it was clear that Catholicism was not to be a part of this new world. This talk is concerned with the ways in which English Catholics - including a number of Catholic gentry from our part of the country - traversed this new social, cultural, political and religious landscape.


Tickets are required but there will be no charge because we cannot, at the time of writing, promise afternoon tea in the marquee. If the venue changes to the SMDLT, afternoon tea will be served and a collection made to defray costs. Applications for tickets/parking permits may be made to the Honorary Secretary (address below) or telephones: 01865 358979 or 07711 294871.

Parking for 50 cars is available on the Christ Church Broadwalk from 1.30pm. Please apply for a parking permit only if you have no alternative transport.

NOTE:  The Annual General Meeting of the Friends will take place in the SMDLT at 4.30pm on Saturday 26 June 2021.

Sponsor a chair

The Friends of Christ Church Cathedral have purchased 400 Howe chairs to replace the unstackable wooden chairs and uncomfortable and aged yellow plastic seats bought decades ago. We hope now to recover some of that cost by inviting sponsorship.

Each chair sponsored will bear an aluminium plaque inscribed with a name: your own name, the name of someone you wish to commemorate, or the name of a church or parish, club, school, or other organisation. The cost of naming a chair has been set at £125 per chair (actual cost: £171). If you would like to support the project but can only donate a small amount, this will still be welcome.

For more information download our Sponsor a Chair leaflet.


There is a range of memberships for individuals, couples and parishes on offer. Please see the membership application form. If you would prefer a hard copy or would like any further information about the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral, please contact the Hon. Secretary.  



Your Personal Data – what is it?  Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data. Identification can be by information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulations 2016/679 [the GDPR].

Who are we? The Council of the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral is the data controller, and is responsible for how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.

How do we process your personal data? The Friends Council complies with its obligations under the GDPR by keeping personal data up to date, by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure, and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.

Data processed by the Friends Council in relation to the members: Names – Addresses- Email Addresses - Telephone numbers - Bank details when supplied for standing orders. We use the data to administer your membership of the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral which includes being able to send twice yearly mailing to members. The legal basis for processing the data is for the legitimate interest of your membership. Your personal data is treated as strictly confidential, and will only be shared with the Friends Council and administration volunteers. Your express permission will be sought in the unlikely case that Council wishes to share your data with any other party or to use it for any new purpose. We keep the personal data active for the length of your membership in order to operate your membership, and archive details thereafter.

Your rights and your personal data: Unless subject to an exemption order [under GDPR] you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: The right to request a copy of any data held by the Friends Council about you The right to request correction of any inaccurate or out-of-date data The right to request that your personal data is erased when it is no longer necessary for the Friends to retain such data The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy of processing your personal data, to request that a restriction is placed on further processing The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commisioner’s Office

Contact detail: To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints, please in the first instance contact the Membership Secretary, Friends of Christ Church Cathedral

Membership data (names, addresses and subscription records) are now being stored on a PC within the Christ Church firewall. There are no changes to the management of data by the Honorary Membership Secretary except that it will now be more secure and processed more tightly in line with Data Protection legislation. If you have any queries, please contact the Membership Secretary, Glynis Baguley, the first instance, or Christ Church’s Data Protection Compliance Manager, Judith Curthoys.