The Rev. Lucy Winkett

Lucy Winkett

Rector of St James’s Piccadilly, London


The Reverend Lucy Winkett is a broadcaster, writer and Rector of St James’s Piccadilly, London. With degrees in History and Theology from Cambridge and Birmingham, she also trained as a soprano at the Royal College of Music. She worked as a professional singer before ordination and also spent time living in a L’Arche Community with people with learning disabilities.

One of the first generation of women to be ordained priest in the Church of England, she began her ministry in Newham, East London, before becoming the first woman priest appointed at St Paul’s Cathedral in its 1400 year history. This appointment was controversial, attracting national and international interest, as the Church of England grappled with the ordination of women for the first time. She became Canon Precentor with particular responsibility for the music and liturgy of the cathedral, being responsible for, amongst other things, HM The Queen’s Golden Jubilee service of thanksgiving, the national services for the end of UK deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan and the commemoration services after 9/11 and the South Asian tsunami of 2004.

Since 2010, she has been Rector of St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

She is much in demand as a speaker on gender, culture, music and political issues. She is a longstanding contributor to Radio 4’s “Thought for the Day,” broadcast during the flagship daily news programme “Today,” and is a regular guest on Radio 3 (the BBC’s classical music station), writing regularly in the national press The Guardian, The Times, Prospect magazine and others.

She was a founding advisor for the public theology think tank “Theos” and the co-founder of “Leading Women,” a national development programme for women clergy.

Her publications include “Our Sound is Our Wound” (Continuum 2010), the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book, God’s Song and Music’s Meaning (Routledge 2020) and Reading the Bible with your feet (Canterbury Press 2021). She has spent much time visiting Israel/Palestine and in 2018 spent 8 days in Syria during the war with artists, journalists and priests. She is Chaplain to the Royal Academy of Arts and works regularly with artists, musicians, thinkers, most recently Jesse Darling, John Grant, Ekow Eshun and Brian Eno. In 2014, she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Winchester University. She is currently leading a £20million development project at St James’s.

Sessions with Lucy Winkett