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New Staff Appointment: Associate Lecturer in Church History

Westcott House is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Renie Chow Choy who will take up post as Associate Lecturer in Church History from September 2022.

Speaking on her appointment, Renie said: ‘I am deeply honoured to be appointed Associate Lecturer at Westcott House, having been drawn to the college’s sacramental tradition, academic environment, and important role in the ecclesiastical and public sphere. Moreover, I have long been impressed by the quality of Westcott House alumni, which attests to superb training in the active and contemplative dimensions of priesthood. In my teaching and scholarship, I have always sought to be brave, relevant, compassionate, and hopeful; I very much look forward to sharing the joys and complexities of historical enquiry with such a vibrant, inquisitive, creative, and bold community.’

The Revd Dr Helen Dawes, Principal of Westcott House, said: ‘It is a great joy to be able to share the news that Renie will be joining the Westcott House teaching team from September. Renie’s current scholarship is a rich resource for the whole church as we look again at how the history and witness embodied in our church buildings continues to shape, sustain, and challenge us as Christian disciples today. Renie is an inspiring teacher with a gift of bringing history to life in the contemporary church, she will enrich our students’ learning and formation and I look forward to working with her and to all that she will bring to the Westcott House community.’

Dr Renie Chow Choy is a historian of Christianity specialising in medieval monasticism, and has since 2016 been Tutor and Lecturer in Church History at St Mellitus College. She comes from Hong Kong and Canada, studied in the U.S., and obtained her doctorate from the University of Oxford. Dr Choy has written on various aspects of early medieval Christianity, and is the author of Intercessory Prayer and the Monastic Ideal in the Time of the Carolingian Reforms, published in 2016 by Oxford University Press.

More recently she has applied historical scholarship to the field of heritage studies, seeking to examine the connections that Christians from diasporic backgrounds have to England’s historic churches. Her latest book, Ancestral Feeling: Postcolonial Thoughts on Western Christian Heritage, was published in 2021 by SCM Press. She is currently leading a participatory heritage project called ‘London’s Iconic Churches: Inclusive Interpretations of Christian Heritage’ at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Southwark Cathedral; information about it can be found at

On Friday 29 April, the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide will be hosting a symposium on Dr Choy’s new book, Ancestral Feeling: Postcolonial Thoughts on Western Christian Heritage, featuring panel discussions about migration, ancestry, and nostalgia in relation to Christian history. The event is free and will take place in the Faculty of Divinity from 2-5 pm. Details and registration here:

The appointment is subject to DBS clearance.