Chapel People


The Revd Dr Rob Wainwright

As College Chaplain, I am here for every member of the Oriel community, and am always happy to meet to listen and to discuss any matter of concern. I am responsible for Chapel life, am a member of the Welfare Team, and am also a Tutor in Theology. I am in College most days and can be reached by phone ((2)76580, by email, or by a knock on the door (room 3.3).

Please contact me at:

Director of Music

Dr David Maw

As Director of Chapel Music at Oriel, I work to maintain and develop the standard of liturgical music-making in the Chapel. My role involves overseeing the recruitment and auditioning of the Choir, the appointment of Organ and Choral Scholars, and working closely with the Chaplain in planning services. I also liaise with the Chaplain and Choir Committee on the organisation of the annual Choir Tour, Cathedral visits, occasional recordings and similar initiatives. From week to week, I am involved in conducting the Choir and playing the organ, sharing these activities with the Organ Scholars.

Any member of the University is welcome to audition for Oriel Choir at any point during the academic year. Please contact me at:


Sacristan and Chapel Assistant

Emily Essex

As Sacristan and Chapel Assistant I am responsible for making sure that services and other chapel events run smoothly. I work closely with the Chaplain and the Bible Clerks, in particular training servers and preparing for services. Anyone interested in getting involved in the life of the chapel, as a Bible Clerk or a regular reader or in some other capacity, and those who want to learn more about what we do, should feel welcome to contact me on the email address below.

I graduated from Oriel in the summer of 2017 with a degree in Philosophy and Theology. As a choral scholar and regular member of the chapel congregation I benefitted greatly from involvement in the spiritual life of the college chapel, and I look forward to working and worshipping alongside those current students who may find themselves in the same position.

I now work full time at Christ Church Cathedral as ‘Cathedral Assistant’, a job which combines the planning and executing of liturgy on a large-scale with time spent working with school groups on education visits.

Please contact me on:

Senior Organ Scholar

Johnson Lau

As Senior Organ Scholar at Oriel, I work with the Director of Music in accompanying and directing the Chapel Choir and am responsible for playing at services. Currently I am in my second year reading for a degree in Engineering Science. I first started studying the organ with Peter Yue at the age of 12, when I was studying at St Paul’s College, Hong Kong. I joined the sixth form of Colchester Royal Grammar School in 2012, where I studied with John Chillingworth. Prior to joining Oriel, I was the Organ Scholar at St Nicholas Church, Witham.

Please contact me at:

Junior Organ Scholar

William McDonald

As Junior Organ Scholar at Oriel, I am responsible for playing at the services, and work alongside the Director of Music and Senior Organ Scholar in accompanying and directing the choir. Currently in my second year reading Music, I began learning the Organ as a Chorister at Salisbury Cathedral where I learnt with Andrew Post. I then won a Music Scholarship to Eton College where I learnt with David Goode, playing first for the Lower Chapel Choir and then the College Chapel Choir in my final year. As well as playing the Organ I also play the French Horn and enjoy conducting whenever possible!

Please contact me at: