The Revd Ian Adams

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The Revd Ian Adams


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Ian is Chaplain to the community at Ridley Hall (with his co-chaplain and wife Gail Adams). He is passionate about nurturing lives rooted in love for God, for neighbour and for the earth. Attention, stillness and prayer are, he suggests, the essential foundations for such a life.

Ian has a particular interest in the formation of spiritual practice. He is interested in the confluence of art and spirituality. He seeks to bring a creative spirit to all his work at Ridley Hall and creates opportunities for the making and sharing of art in the college.

Other roles

Other roles

"Brutality all
around; softening begins
here, pebbles rolled smooth."
from Unfurling poems
by Ian Adams

Ian is a poet, writer, photographer and retreat leader. He is Mission Spirituality Adviser to Church Mission Society, and a Fresh Expressions Associate. He is the creator of the daily Morning Bell on social media, and partner in the Beloved Life project.

He has a particular interest in finding words and images that may enable Jesus to be encountered in a demanding world. A favourite metaphor for Ian comes from jazz, an art form which continues to evolve through the playing of visionary musicians who are both deeply in love with the tradition, and always innovating to allow the music to unfold and expand.

Personal background

Personal background

Ian trained at Ridley Hall in the 1990s and was a curate and team vicar in the Diocese of Oxford. In 2004 he co-founded and led the experimental Anglican community mayBe. He was a tutor and chaplain at CYM Oxford 2007–2009 and subsequently taught at CYM Bristol and Cambridge.

From 2009 to 2015 Ian was Missional Community Developer at CMS, then becoming their Mission Spirituality Adviser. From 2011 to 2013 he co-taught the Fresh Expressions Mission Shaped Ministry course in Devon, and regularly teaches on mission and spirituality for churches and dioceses.

In 2017 and 2018 Ian was a pastoral tutor at Ridley Hall, and taught Pioneer Learning and PC3 Context-based Training at Ridley and in the Federation. Since the publication of Unfurling, Ian has been performing his 'poems of life, love and faith' in churches, cathedrals, cafes, pubs and festivals.



Canterbury Press

  • Breathing Deep: life in the spirit of Easter (2018)
  • Some Small Heaven: seeking light in winter (2017)
  • Wilderness Taunts: revealing your light (2016)
  • Unfurling: poems (2014)
  • Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times (2013)
  • Cave Refectory Road: monastic rhythms for contemporary living (2010*)
  • New Monasticism as Fresh Expression of Church (contributor 2010)
  • Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Tradition (contributor 2009)

*also Liturgical Press USA 2010

Church House Publishing

  • Reflections for Sundays Year C (contributor, 2018)
  • Reflections on the Psalms (contributor, 2015)
  • Reflections for Lent (contributor, 2013)
  • Reflections for Daily Prayer (2013–14)


  • Future Present (contributor, 2018)
  • Temenos (with Ric Stott 2018)
  • Seeking Light: Advent (2016)
  • Peace Be With You: Easter (2016)
  • 40 Temptations: Lent (2016)
  • Give Me A Drink: 21 sketches for mission (2015)
  • Come and See: a guide for beginning & sustaining a missional venture (2013)
  • Stations of the Resurrection (with Si Smith, 2013)
  • Advent Calendar (with Si Smith 2011)

SCM Press

  • Missional Conversations: a dialogue between theory and praxis in world mission (contributor, 2018)

Magazine articles

  • "Spiritual Practices for Children" (for Premier Childrenswork, 2014–16)
  • "A Kind of Jazz: tradition and improvisation" (for CAC Radical Grace, 2010)

Social media

  • Morning Bell: daily resource on social media (2009–present)