Giles Fraser

Giles Anthony Fraser[3] (born 27 November 1964)[4] is an English Anglican priest, journalist and broadcaster. He is currently the priest-in-charge at St Mary's, Newington, near the Elephant and Castle, south London,[5] and used to write a column for The Guardian, as well as appearing frequently on BBC Radio 4. He is a regular contributor on Thought for the Day and a panellist on The Moral Maze as well as an Assistant Editor of UnHerd.

Giles Fraser
Priest-in-Charge at St Mary's, Newington
Giles Fraser 2008.jpg
Fraser speaking at Levellers Day, Burford, in 2008
ChurchChurch of England
AppointedApril 2012
Other postsPresident of Inclusive Church
Ordination1993 (deacon)
1994 (priest)
Personal details
Birth nameGiles Anthony Fraser
Born (1964-11-27) 27 November 1964 (age 56)
Aldershot, Hampshire, England
ParentsAnthony and Gillian Fraser[1]
  • Sally Aagaard[1]
Lynn Tandler
(m. 2016)
ChildrenTwo daughters, three sons[1]
OccupationPriest, journalist, and broadcaster
Previous post
Alma materNewcastle University, Lancaster University

He was formerly a visiting professor in the anthropology department at the London School of Economics and was previously Canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral and director of the St Paul's Institute from 2009 until his resignation in October 2011. As Canon Chancellor, Fraser was a residentiary canon with special responsibility for contemporary ethics and engagement with the City of London as a financial centre.

Life and careerEdit

Fraser's father was Jewish and his mother from a Christian background, and Fraser himself was circumcised according to Jewish tradition.[6] He was educated at a prep school, Hollingbury Court in Sussex, where he was beaten several times a week by the headmaster for minor misdemeanours,[7] and Uppingham, a fee-paying Christian school and became a Christian.[8] Fraser attended Newcastle University, the Church of England's clergy training Ripon College Cuddesdon, near Oxford, and the University of Lancaster where he received his PhD in 1999 for his thesis entitled Holy Nietzsche experiments in redemption. He was ordained as a deacon in 1993 and as a priest in 1994, serving as the curate of All Saints in Streetly in Birmingham from 1993 to 1997.[4]

Fraser has been involved in social and political advocacy and according to The Daily Telegraph "would be the first to admit that he is fond of the sound of his own voice".[9] In 2019, he claimed that "all my political energy has been a reaction to Margaret Thatcher. I hated and continue to hate Thatcherism with a passion that remains undimmed".[10] In the 2019 UK General Election, Giles Fraser voted for the Conservative Party.[11]

From 2004 to 2013, Fraser had a weekly column in the Church Times.[12] Since 2009, he has been an honorary canon of the Diocese of Sefwi-Wiawso in Ghana.[13]

From 1997 to 2006, he was a chaplain and then a lecturer in philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford. He is the author or co-author of several books and is a specialist on the writings of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Fraser has lectured on moral leadership for the British Army at the Defence Academy at Shrivenham.

From 2000 to 2009, he was the Team Rector of St Mary's Putney, where he campaigned to raise the profile of the Putney Debates (1647).[14] Fraser was the founder of Inclusive Church and campaigns for lesbian and gay inclusion within the church. He was voted Stonewall Hero of the Year in 2012.[15]

In October 2011, Occupy London based their protest outside St Paul's Cathedral. Fraser said that he was happy for people to "exercise their right to protest peacefully" outside the cathedral.[16] Fraser resigned as he could not sanction any policy of the chapter of St Paul's to use force to remove the protesters.[17] Fraser has said that it was "a huge matter of regret to leave" St Paul's. "But not for one moment have I thought that I did the wrong thing".[18]

In 2016 Fraser supported Leave in the EU referendum. Commenting about the EU, he said that 'Personally, I find it amazing that progressives are so keen to offer support to a remote and undemocratic bureaucracy that locks in a commitment to neoliberal economics'.[19] In 2019 he said he was "longing for a full-on Brexit – No Deal, please".[20]

Personal life and honoursEdit

Fraser married Sally Aagaard in 1993; they have two daughters and a son together.[3]

On 16 January 2016, Fraser announced his engagement to an Israeli Jew.[21] They were married on 13 February 2016.[2] Their son was born in November the same year.[22]

In June 2017, Fraser suffered a heart attack and underwent successful surgery.[23]

Fraser was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edge Hill University, Lancashire in July 2013[24] and by the Open University in September 2015.[25][26]


  1. ^ a b c Dugan, Emily (22 January 2012). "Giles Fraser: 'I've spent my life on the naughty step'". The Independent. Retrieved 30 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b Fraser, Giles (13 February 2016). "Twitter update". Retrieved 12 July 2017.[non-primary source needed]
  3. ^ a b Thinking Anglicans – Giles Fraser becomes a canon of St Paul's
  4. ^ a b "Fraser, Rev. Canon Dr Giles Anthony", Who's Who
  5. ^ Jones, Sam (1 April 2012). "Former canon of St Paul's appointed parish priest at inner-city church". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Fraser, Giles (17 July 2012). "This German circumcision ban is an affront to Jewish and Muslim identity". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  7. ^ Fraser, Giles (5 February 2017). "Like John Smyth's accusers, I bear the scars of a muscular christian education". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  8. ^ "The Anglican priest who had a bris". The Jewish Chronicle. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  9. ^ Thompson, Damian (28 October 2011). "Giles Fraser: The Church's own radical cleric will still have a voice". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  10. ^ "Who broke the Left?". UnHerd. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  11. ^[non-primary source needed]
  12. ^ 'Goodbye: I am letting anger drop', Church Times, 8 February 2013
  13. ^ "Giles Anthony Fraser". Crockford's Clerical Directory (online ed.). Church House Publishing. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  14. ^ Hunt, Tristram (26 October 2007). "Tristram Hunt on the Putney debates of 1647". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  15. ^ Carrell, Severin; correspondent, Scotland (2 November 2012). "Stonewall unapologetic over Scottish cardinal's 'bigot of the year' award". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 March 2020.
  16. ^ Davies, Caroline (16 October 2011). "Occupy London protest continues into second day". The Guardian. London.
  17. ^ Rusbridger, Alan (27 October 2011). "Canon of St Paul's 'unable to reconcile conscience with evicting protest camp". The Guardian.
  18. ^ Thornton, Ed (12 October 2012) "Still preocuppied by Occupy", Church Times
  19. ^ Fraser, Giles (15 June 2016). "Call me a liar, an idiot or a wrong 'un if you like, but I'm still voting leave | Giles Fraser". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  20. ^ Fraser, Giles (22 February 2019). "Why won't Remainers talk about family?". UnHerd.
  21. ^ Fraser, Giles (18 February 2016). "Think love knows no boundaries? Try getting married in Israel". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  22. ^ Fraser, Giles (2 December 2016). "Many of our beliefs are not chosen, we are born into them". The Guardian.
  23. ^ Fraser, Giles (8 June 2017). "I'm having heart surgery in a few hours. I fear for myself – and the NHS". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  24. ^ United Kingdom (17 July 2013). "Church Leader Given Honorary Award". Edgehill University. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  25. ^ "Honorary degrees" (PDF). Open University. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Honorary degrees; Degree ceremonies". Open University. 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2017.

External linksEdit

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Edmund Newell
Canon chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral
Succeeded by
Mark Oakley