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Stephen Coleman

Reverend Stephen Coleman

Law Teacher

School of Law and Politics


MA (Oxon.), MSt (Oxon.), LLM (Cardiff), FRSA. I am a Law Teacher in the School of Law and Politics and deputy course director of the LLM in Canon Law. I am also Assistant Director of the Centre for Law and Religion, where I share in the leadership of the Centre and take responsibility for convening two of the centre’s networks: the Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers and the Church Law History Network.

I read Theology as an undergraduate and graduate at the University of Oxford, before training and practising as a corporate and financing solicitor at Slaughter and May and latterly Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in the City of London. I then trained for ordination in the Church of England at Westcott House in Cambridge, and I am currently Vicar of the parish of St Peter, Grange Park in North London. In 2022 I was elected as an Honorary Research Fellow of St Stephen's House, Oxford.

I am also chair of governors at the Wren Academy Enfield (a new Church of England Secondary School), a director of the London Diocesan Board for Schools, a trustee of the Ecclesiastical Law Society, a member of the Editorial Board of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal, and I teach Canon Law to clergy in the Diocese of London.  I am also a member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society working party looking at the reform of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003.

I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an early career member of the Royal Historical Society. In October 2021 I preached the sermon for Law Sunday at Winchester Cathedral, marking the beginning of the new legal year. In November 2021 I delivered a lecture (jointly) for the Ecclesiastical Law Society on the Canons of the Church of England.

My research interests lie primarily in the field of Law and Religion, Canon Law and Ecclesiastical Legal History. I graduated from the LLM in Canon Law in 2016 and I am currently reading for a PhD in Ecclesiastical Legal History under the supervision of Professor Norman Doe.



Book sections



My PhD research focusses on the law of parochial patronage in the Church of England, with specific reference to how the law of patronage developed and was used as a tool to effect theological and ecclesiological reform in the Church of England. I have a particular interest in how this is evidenced in the writings of the English ecclesiastical lawyers from the sixteenth century onwards.


2022 Substantial article on ‘Ecclesiastical Polity’ for the St Andrews Encyclopedia of Theology, a new peer reviewed online reference work (co-authored with Professor Norman Doe, forthcoming)

2022 Entry on ‘Canon Law in the Anglican Communion’ in Jean-Paul Durand (ed.), Dictionnaire des Institutions Chrétiennes (forthcoming)

2018 Book review of Cranmer, Hill, Kenny and Sandberg (eds.), The Confluence of Law and Religion: Interdisciplinary reflections on the work of Norman Doe The Ecclesiastical Law Journal (2018) (20), 91-93

2017 ‘The Appointment of Bishops in the Church of England: an historical and legal critique’ The Ecclesiastical Law Journal(2017) (19) 212-223

2016 Book review of Tavinor, M., Shrines of the Saints in England and Wales in The Walsingham Review.


I teach on the LLM in Canon Law.


Committees and reviewing

2020 - date: Editorial Board, The Ecclesiastical Law Journal

2020 - date: Working party, the Ecclesiasical Law Society Working Party on the reform of the Clergy Discipline Measure

2020 - date: Convenor, The Church Law History Network, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff School of Law and Politics

2019 - date: Convenor, The Colloquium of Anglican and Roman Catholic Canon Lawyers, Centre for Law and Religion, Cardiff School of Law and Politics

External profiles