Stephen Coleman

Associate
  • Profile

Stephen is a part time member of the firm’s Ecclesiastical Team and is based in the London office. He has a general ecclesiastical law practice which he combines with his ministry as a Church of England parish priest in the Diocese of London. He is currently Priest-in-Charge of the Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair. Prior to this he served as Vicar of St Peter’s, Grange Park and Sub-Dean of the Enfield Deanery for six years.

Stephen brings his experience as an incumbent when advising on a wide range of ecclesiastical legal issues, including property matters, the law of patronage and pastoral reorganisation, the management of parochial church councils, and the law of marriage and other occasional offices. He has particular experience in clergy discipline both in drafting preliminary scrutiny reports and in advising clergy who are subject to a clergy discipline or safeguarding complaint. He regularly delivers training to clergy, ordinands, and lay officers on ecclesiastical law.

He is a trustee of the Ecclesiastical Law Society and was a member of the ELS working party looking at the reform of the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003. In 2023 he was nominated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to sit on the Canterbury Provincial Panel for Clergy Discipline Tribunals, and he also sits on the Clergy Discipline Commission.

Stephen is also significantly involved in Church of England education from a governance perspective. He is a trustee of the London Diocesan Board for Schools (where he is chair of the governance committee and a member of the standing committee), a director of the Wren Academies Trust, and chair of governors at the Wren Academy Enfield (a new secondary school in North London).

Stephen also has a significant academic interest in ecclesiastical law and the interface between law and religion: he is a member of the academic staff in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University where he is deputy course director of the LLM in Canon Law, Assistant Director of the Centre of Law and Religion, and is researching a PhD on the law of advowsons under the supervision of Professor Norman Doe. An honorary research fellow of St Stephen’s House, Oxford, Stephen read theology as an undergraduate and graduate at the University of Oxford and, before ordination, Stephen practised as a corporate and financing solicitor at Slaughter and May, and latterly in the London office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

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