4 june 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury awards Lambeth degrees

Bill Ives, of Oxford University’s Music Faculty and choirmaster of Magdalen College, has been awarded the DMus degree 'in recognition of his significant contribution to church music, particularly as a composer and as Organist and Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford'.
Bill Ives is choirmaster at Magdalen College

Three Oxford University academics are being honoured with a prestigious degree awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Bill Ives, of Oxford University’s Music Faculty and choirmaster of Magdalen College, has been awarded the DMus degree 'in recognition of his significant contribution to church music, particularly as a composer and as Organist and Informator Choristarum at Magdalen College, Oxford'.

The Very Revd John Drury, Fellow of All Souls College and former Dean of Christ Church, is receiving a degree in recognition of his theological scholarship, particularly in religious art, and for his significant contribution to liturgy and church music.

Professor Terence Copley will receive an award in recognition of his 'contribution to the theory and practice of Religious Education in schools and his promotional work highlighting the importance of the subject in relation to both the educational and wider public agendas'.

Lambeth degrees are awarded in Divinity, Law, Arts, Literature, Medicine and Music. They are genuine academic awards made on merit in recognition of candidates’ contribution to religious, academic and public life.

Mr Ives, Revd John Drury, Professor Copley and seven others will be presented with their degrees by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at a ceremony at Lambeth Palace on July 1 2008.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's right to grant degrees is derived from Peter's Pence Act of 1533 which empowered the Archbishop to grant dispensations previously granted by the Pope. The practice began at a time when attendance at Oxford and Cambridge, the only universities at that time in England, was frequently disrupted by the difficulty of travel or outbreaks of the plague. The Archbishop was empowered to grant exemption from the residential requirements necessary for a degree.

Mr Ives said: ‘The award of a Lambeth DMus came completely out of the blue and was a wonderful surprise. It comes at a particularly fitting time as I am coming towards the end of my time as Informator Choristarum at Magdalen.’

The announcement that Mr Ives will receive the Lambeth degree comes just days after he was made a Fellow of the Royal School of Church music, during a ceremony in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.