Issue date: 25 November 2004

ISSUE DATE@ 25/11/04

The University of the West of England will award the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters to Robert William Grimley. The honorary degree will be conferred at the Award Ceremony of the Bristol School of Art, Media and Design on Friday 3 December at 14:45 at Bristol Cathedral.

Robert Grimley was born in Derby and attended Derby School, a local grammar school, before proceeding to Christ’s College Cambridge, where he read for Part I of the Tripos in Mathematics and Part II in Theology. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in 1966 and took his Master’s in 1970. He then trained for ordination at Ripon Hall, in Oxford, where he also became a member of Wadham College and read for the Honour School of Oriental Studies in Hebrew, Aramaic and Syriac, completing his Bachelor’s Degree in 1968 and took his Master’s in 1976. He was awarded the Ellerton Theological Essay Prize by the University of Oxford in 1974.

Ordained in the Diocese of St Albans, Robert Grimley served as Assistant Curate of Christ Church, Radlett until 1972, when he moved to Birmingham as Chaplain of King Edward’s School. During that time, he also served in an honorary capacity in the parish of St Mary, Moseley.

In 1984, Robert Grimley was appointed as Vicar of St George, Edgbaston, and whilst incumbent there: was asked to set up a Diocesan Lay training course; organised clergy conferences for the Bishop; and served as Vice-Chairman of the Pastoral Committee. His educational and clergy training work for the Diocese of Birmingham involved contact with churches in Europe, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, and he is a strong advocate of the value of Christian leaders sharing their experiences and ideas internationally. In Bristol he has supported the City’s town-twining links, particularly the Cathedral’s connection with its city centre twin church in Hanover, the historic Marktkirche, where he has preached on a number of occasions.

Robert Grimley also served as Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Birmingham and as Chaplain to the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.

Robert Grimley served as a governor to a number of Birmingham schools, both independent and maintained, and as a governor and a member of the College Council of The Queen’s College, Birmingham, an ecumenical theological college preparing people for the ministry of the Anglican and Free Churches. He continues to serve as a governor of Kingswood School and Bristol Cathedral School and is currently Inspector of Theological Colleges for the House of Bishops.

In 1997, Robert Grimley was appointed by the Crown to the Deanery of Bristol, where his responsibilities include being chairman of the Cathedral Chapter, and representing the Cathedral in the wider community. The Cathedral sees its role as being at the heart of the life of Greater Bristol and it is firmly committed to working for the common good. He has encouraged the use of the Cathedral in its role as the ceremonial home of the University of the West of England, which he sees as providing a public expression of the strong links between the University and the Cathedral. His diocesan responsibilities have included co-ordinating Higher Education chaplaincy work, which has particularly involved him in that aspect of the life of the University of the West of England.

The Honorary Degree is awarded in recognition of The Very Reverend Robert Grimley’s contribution to the life of Bristol and to a special relationship between the University of the West of England and the Dean and Chapter of Bristol Cathedral.


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