University Church Appoints Children, Families, and Schools Chaplain

The University Church is developing ministry among children and young people in exciting new ways with the appointment of the Revd Sorrel Shamel-Wood to an innovative new role as Children, Families, and Schools Chaplain.

Commenting on the appointment, the Revd Hannah Cartwright, Associate Vicar, said:

‘We are delighted to be welcoming Sorrel to this exciting new post. Sorrel brings with her a wealth of experience working with children and their families in a range of ministerial and educational contexts, most-recently at Dorchester Abbey. Her passion for helping children to grow in faith, hope, and love, are evident and we very much look forward to working with her to develop this vital ministry.’

The University Church has recently welcomed an increasing number of new families and young children among the congregation. The role, which begins in 2025, will seek to develop the church’s growing ministry by building an exciting programme of worship and community activities which nurture children and their families in their walk with God, as well as supporting religious education across the region; especially in urban priority areas.

Standing between Radcliffe Square, the historic heart of the University, and the High Street of the bustling city, the University Church has a unique opportunity to use its incredible history to tell the story of faith to new generations. A key area of outreach will be working with schools in the region to engage with the rich heritage, faith, and educational resources the University Church can offer.

The Revd Sorrel Shamel-Wood commented:

‘I am delighted to have this opportunity to serve the children and families at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin and also to work with schools. I am excited about contributing to the nurture of children and young people’s spirituality at this ancient and thriving church and I look forward to meeting you all.’


Notes for Press

For further information, including photography, please contact:

Ana-Maria Niculcea, Communications Officer,

University Church of St Mary the Virgin, High St, Oxford OX1 4BJ


t. 01865 279119

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin is the official church of the University of Oxford and the spiritual heart of the oldest university in Britain. With dignified liturgy, thoughtful preaching and beautiful music, it has been a place of Christian worship for over a thousand years. Today, we strive to be a community of faithful Christian witness and intelligent debate, unafraid to engage with the modern world.