Dr Helen Orchard

Research Associate

Helen Orchard has undertaken research in a variety of fields, and studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and London.  Her first degree was in Biblical Studies, with a PhD exploring person of Christ in John’s Gospel. She subsequently worked for the NHS developing hospital-based cancer services, as well as undertaking research into the delivery of multi-faith chaplaincy services for The Kings Fund.

Following ordination in the Church of England, Helen served as a parish priest in Guildford and Wimbledon, and as Chaplain-Fellow for Exeter College, Oxford.  Further study at Heythrop College in the area of Christian spirituality prompted the development of her current research interests in medieval mystical theology and iconography.

During her time at MBIT, Helen’s work will focus on detailed examination of the manuscript commonly known as The Rothschild Canticles, a Latin devotional miscellany which originated in northern France in the early fourteenth century.  The aim is both to suggest a new understanding of the mystical itinerary within Part 1 of the manuscript; as well as to render the manuscript more accessible to today’s readers through a series of spiritual reflections on the images it contains.

Select publications

Orchard, H. (2020) The creature and the sovereign self: The anthropology of The Spiritual

Exercises and contemporary spiritual narcissism. The Way, 59(1):11-21.

Orchard, H. (2019) Reaching equipoise: The relationship between indifference and discernment in The Spiritual Exercises. The Way, 58(2): 33-44.

Orchard, H. (2004) Podium: Intimate Piercing. Modern Believing, 45(2): 56-61.

Orchard, H. (2002) Spiritual care in care homes: perceptions and practice.  In: D. Clark and J. Hockley (eds) Palliative Care for Older People in Care Homes.  Buckingham: OUP: 66-85.

Orchard, H. (ed) (2001) Spirituality in Health Care Contexts.  London: Jessica Kingsley.

Orchard, H. (2000) Hospital Chaplaincy: Modern, Dependable?  Sheffield: SAP.

Orchard, H. (1998) Courting Betrayal: Jesus as Victim in the Gospel of John.  Sheffield: SAP.