Meet the research team

Professor John Harper, Principal Investigator, is Research Professor in Music and Liturgy and Director of the International Centre for Sacred Music Studies. He is also Emeritus Director of The Royal School of Church Music. He has wide experience of music and liturgy as a practitioner (St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, Edington Priory, Magdalen College, Oxford) and served for seven years as a consultant member of the Church of England Liturgical Commission. He is the author of the standard book, The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the 10th to the 18th century.

Dr Sally Harper, Co-Investigator, is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Music and Director of the Centre of Advanced Welsh Music Studies (CAWMS). She has researched and published widely on music in medieval and early modern Wales and on medieval liturgy, and has authored monographs on medieval English Benedictine liturgy (1994) and on Music in Welsh Culture before 1650 (2007). She is co-director of the Bangor Pontifical Project, and recently led another AHRC research project on the performance of medieval vernacular verse in Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

Dr Paul Barnwell, Researcher, is Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford, University Lecturer in the Historic Environment, and Director of Studies for the Department for Continuing Education’s historic environment and architectural history programmes. Formerly Head of Medieval and Later Rural Research Policy, Research and Standards Strategy Department at English Heritage, he is also a past President of the Vernacular Architecture Group and has been an Honorary Visiting Fellow in the Department of History at the University of York. He has published widely on English architectural history from the Anglo–Saxon period to the present day and his principal current research interest concerns the ways in which English parish churches can contribute to understanding medieval religious life and experience.

Dr Magnus Williamson, Researcher, is Senior Lecturer within the International Centre for Music Studies at Newcastle University. He is also General Editor of the British Academy series, Early English Church Music. He has published on the institutions, sources and social contexts of church music in pre-Reformation Britain, and has prepared an edition of music by John Sheppard (d. 1558) for publication by EECM in 2012; he is also a keyboard player with interests in improvisation and Tudor organ music. His role in the project revolves around three key issues: performance; the material culture of pre-Reformation worship (typically, but not exclusively, books); and the means and motivations leading to the formation of musical traditions, particularly outside the major centres of patronage and power.

Ms Judith Aveling, Doctoral Student, completed her first degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Peterhouse Cambridge and has Masters degrees in Slavonic and East European Studies from London University, and in Theology and Religious Studies from Liverpool Hope and Lampeter Universities. She is passionately interested in theology, liturgy, and church music, and her PhD addresses the theological aspect of late medieval devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus for the project, with particular focus on liturgy, music, spirituality, and social and cultural context.

Keith Beasley, Project Administrator, manages general aspects of the day-to-day running of the project. He has recently submitted a Bangor doctorate through the School of Theology and Religious Studies on 'Transcending Thought', exploring higher levels of consciousness and related experiences, and will be contributing his own reflections on participating in the medieval enactments (in the persona of a medieval carpenter) to one of the forthcoming project publications.

Interdisciplinary Research Group

The core team is assisted by a wider group, representing two main thematic strands:

  • Group A: Observation and analysis of re-enactments as ritual and social phenomena
  • Group B: Historical Contexts