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Canon Turner became XIII Rector of Saint Thomas Church in July 2014.Prior to coming to Saint Thomas, Fr Turner was Canon Precentor of Exeter Cathedral for thirteen years. He led the Department of Liturgy and Music and worked with the 850-year-old Cathedral School. Canon Turner was responsible for all the Cathedral’s worship and music, including Diocesan liturgy, and advised the Bishop and clergy in many areas of pastoral liturgy. He is a former member of the Church of England’s Liturgical Commission and was a Director of the Association of English Cathedrals.
Prior to his time in Exeter, Canon Turner served two curacies in Essex at Leigh-on-Sea and Brentwood. He then became Rector of the Parish of the Divine Compassion, a large urban parish in Plaistow and Canning Town in the East End of London. All of his parishes have been Anglo-Catholic in tradition with a strong love of music and liturgy as well as a strong commitment to the communities that they serve. His parish in East London was part of the revival of the religious life in the Church of England and the first Franciscan Friary since the reformation was founded there.
Canon Turner is a Fellow of Woodard Schools, a member of the Order of Saint John, a Chaplain to the Order of St Lazarus, and a Priest Associate of the Holy House of Our Lady of Walsingham. The Bishop of Exeter made him Canon Emeritus in recognition of his service to the Diocese and the wider Church. In the Spring of 2014, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House but has, since, also formed active links with Berkeley School of Divinity at Yale and the General Theological Seminary.
Canon Turner was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom in 1960. By happy coincidence, this was also the hometown of the XI Rector, Father John Andrew who had been Chaplain to Archbishop Michael Ramsey. When retired, Michael Ramsey became Carl’s mentor and friend when he studied at Durham University and then at Oxford and he arranged for two formative years in the United States when he was a seminarian. Carl married his wife, Alison, in 1990. Alison is a teacher and a priest and, until Easter 2015 was Headmistress of Exeter Junior School, a leading independent preparatory school in the Southwest of England. Carl and Alison have three adopted children who are now young adults; they also have a Cairn Terrier called Bertie.
Photo credit: Ira Lippke