About Gareth Hughes

Chronology

I was born in Exeter, Devon, in 1973. My first degree was in physics at Durham University, at St John’s College. After graduating, I spent a year volunteering for the Corrymeela Community in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, before beginning training for ordination at St Michael’s College in Llandaff, Cardiff. I have a BD from Cardiff University with a prize in biblical languages for my study of Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.

I was ordained deacon in Durham Cathedral in 1998 by Bishop Michael Turnbull, and priested there, also by him, the following year. I served as curate in the Parish of St Andrew, Haughton-le-Skerne, in Darlington, Co. Durham, before being licensed as team vicar in the White Horse Team Ministry, comprising the parishes of Westbury and Dilton Marsh, in Salisbury Diocese.

I came up to Oxford in 2006, and took an MSt in Syriac studies with Dr David Taylor, based at Wolfson College. I spent two years as a research assistant in the Classics Faculty, and two years as associate priest of the Church of All Hallows, Twickenham. I am currently pursuing a DPhil on the 5th-century Syriac verse homilies of Narsai of Nisibis.

In September 2011, I became chaplain of Hertford College, responsible for the welfare of members of the college and for services in the chapel.

Faith & religion

My faith came into realisation during the illness and eventual death of my mother to multiple sclerosis in 1990, when I was 17 years old, amidst searching, questioning and much doubt.

Faith is the open-ended conversation about what truly matters. A desire for openness, rather than any partisan affiliation, led me to seek ordination in the Church of England, and finds me located among liberal and affirming catholics within the church's spectrum of understanding.

The kingdom of God is not about some vague eternal atmospheric existence, but about fighting for social justice in our every day. This is the Good News of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ has set us free to set others free: living, dying and rising for the hope of humanity.

Liturgy is the language by which we bind ourselves with one another and with the Trinity in this sacramental struggle. It is more than words, music and gesture, and is something of poetry. It is where forgiveness and love nurture this frail revolution.

Politics

I am a socialist, a member of the Labour Party and its left-wing, the Labour Representation Committee. I am also a member of the Christian Socialist Movement.

I support the principle of an elected head of state for Britain, and for other countries, and oppose the unaccountable power, wealth and influence of monarchy, including within a constitutional framework. To this end, I support the campaign of Republic.