Christopher JamisonO.S.B. (born 26 December 1951) is a Benedictine monk and former Abbot of Worth Abbey in West Sussex, England. He currently serves as the Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation.
Jamison was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1951 as one of four siblings whose family moved to Buckinghamshire, England, while he was a child. He went on to study at Downside School and later Oriel College at Oxford University where he attained an undergraduate degree and M.A. in French and Spanish in 1973. He would later enter the monastic community of Worth Abbey where he would be sent to complete a B.A. at Heythrop College, University of London, in the field of Philosophy and Theology in preparation for ordination to priesthood.
After ordination as a priest in 1978, Jamison began work as a member of the faculty of Worth School, a Roman Catholic independent school in West Sussex. In 1994 he was appointed as Headmaster of the same school and served until 2002. In 1993 he was also appointed by the Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation to serve as President of the International Conference on Benedictine Education (ICBE) which facilitates dialogue between Benedictine secondary schools across the world. He served as both Headmaster of Worth School and President of the ICBE until 2002 when he was elected Abbot of Worth Abbey. He concluded one term as Abbot in 2010 at which time he was appointed as the Director of England and Wales’ National Office for Vocations. He served in that role until 2017 when he was elected as the Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation where he serves to the present time.
Jamison came into wider public awareness after his appearance in 2005 in the BBC Twotelevision documentary, The Monastery. The series charted the trials and tribulations of six men of varying levels of belief over a period of forty days and nights as they attempt to follow the monastic life. Thereafter he published two books related to that series: Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life and Finding Happiness: Monastic Steps For A Fulfilling Life. He also served as an Advisor to the ‘Future of Banking Commission’ and ‘New City Agenda’, a “think tank” dedicated to improving ethical behavior in the financial services industry. During this time he published articles and gave talks on the subject of ethics of financial services. In 2010 he made the TV documentary The Big Silence, which followed several ordinary people as they explored the value and challenge of silent meditation. Often referred to as the “Media Monk”, in his role as the Director of England and Wales’ National Office for Vocations from 2010-2017, he appeared on BBC2, the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, gave lectures, and guested on numerous podcasts. In 2020 he partnered with the media production house CTVC and the youth charity ‘Million Minutes’ to produce ‘Alone-Together‘, a web based online resource for people living through the Covid-19 crisis.