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Thornbury Parish


Revd Dr Jan van der Lely - Vicar

I am married to Graham, with two adult sons from my first marriage, Will and Tim. Graham runs a glasshouse growing business, and is a longstanding governor of Hartpury College, as well as being a governor at UWE.  

I grew up in South London, and read Biblical Studies at Sheffield University, then completed a PhD in Theology at Durham. As a student I played a leading role in Christian Union life.

Later I moved into a more catholic and liberal church tradition, and I am now Chair of Modern Church (www.modernchurch.org.uk).

I have been a teacher most of my working life, leading the Religious Studies departments at two Gloucester schools.  I ran a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Unit and I am a qualified Mountain Leader.

In 2002 I took the job of School Chaplain at an international boarding school in Switzerland and began seriously to consider a vocation to ordained ministry. Whilst in Switzerland I completed an MA in Counselling.  I returned from Switzerland to train for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.

I was ordained in 2009 and served my title as Assistant Curate in Cirencester.  In September 2012 I was inducted and licensed as Vicar of Thornbury and Oldbury with Shepperdine.

I enjoy classical music, choral singing, walking and skiing in the mountains, and visiting our gite in the French Pyrenees.