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Rev Peter Phillips 


  • Overview
Position:PhD student

Academic History

Peter Phillips retired early after working as a prison chaplain in various prisons and did a MA at Bristol University. These days he is a part-time volunteer chaplain at a women's prison.

PhD Research

“My project is entitled "The Role of the Anglican Prison Chaplain in the 21st Century". This is a piece of qualitative research based on 32 semi-structured interviews, although I prefer the term ‘dialogue’. It attempts to answer the research question, "What do Anglican Prison Chaplains think they're doing in the 21st Century?"   

“The Anglican chaplain remains one of the two statutory appointments in any prison.  During the first 60 years of the 19th century a number of chaplains drove a model of penal practice based on redemption and reform. Many of them published works not only on religion but on the running of prisons more generally. In a period when the UK is said to be simultaneously religiously diverse and increasingly secular, I aim to discover what today's Anglican prison chaplains think they are doing against a number of measures and what their place in the prison is. Reflecting its transdiciplinary nature, the project is jointly supervised by the Revd Dr Peter Sedgwick (Principal of St Michael's College), Dr Sara Delamont (SOCSI) and Revd Dr Andrew Todd (Director, Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies). The project therefore attempts to answer a question of applied theology in a carceral context using sociological methodology.  It also plays into the emerging research area of carceral geography.”

Publications, Reviews and Conferences

Peter has contributed book reviews to Crucible and Qualitative Research and undertaken peer reviewing.   He presented a paper at the Prison Chaplains national conference in 2009 and to the North South Irish Criminology Conference in 2010.  He is preparing a paper for the 2012 conference of the British and Irish Association for Pastoral Theology at the University of Chester.