VTS Welcomes the Rev. Keith Claringbull, Merrow Fellow


Media Contact: Curtis Prather
Tel: 703-461-1782
Email: cprather@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA – Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) welcomes to campus the Rev. Keith Claringbull from Birmingham, England as this year’s recipient of the Andrew T. P. Merrow Fellowship. Rev. Claringbull will be in residence for three weeks, conducting research and participating in the community life of VTS and St. Mary’s Church in Arlington, Virginia. The Fellowship is named after the Rev. Andrew Merrow (VTS ’81), beloved Rector of St. Mary’s Church.

Rev. Claringbull was a member of the Anglican Society of St. Francis for 20 years and studied theology at Ripon College Cuddesdon in Oxford, England. Ordained in 2000, he currently is involved in social and environmental work in the Manchester area that brings him into contact with the local interfaith community. He also has a background in architectural surveys, building schemes, construction and design, and his research at VTS will focus on spirituality and the built environment of places of worship: temples, synagogues, mosques, gurdwaras and churches. The goal of his research is to contribute to the design and erection of a new eco-friendly, interfaith building in Birmingham where persons from all faiths are welcome.

The Andrew T.P. Merrow Fellowship was established in 2005 by parishioners and friends of Rev. Merrow on the occasion of his 20th anniversary as Rector of St. Mary’s Church. Merrow Fellows come from outside the United States and participate in the life of the seminary and parish communities, where they help deepen the understanding and appreciation of the broader Anglican Communion.

Fellowship recipients are chosen by a committee consisting of parish and seminary representatives. “One of the goals of the Center for Anglican Communion studies is to foster research that facilitates relationships with persons of other faiths,” said the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Center for Anglican Communion Studies. “This year’s Merrow Fellow has interests that support that goal and we are happy to partner with St. Mary’s in welcoming the Rev. Claringbull to the community.”

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 42 different dioceses and five different countries, for service in the Church.