Chaplain – Tom Poynor

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Where can you find the chaplain? Either at one of the many coffee shops in Berkeley or in the offices at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley.

Tom is a native of Alabama but is slowly going native as a Californian. He still likes grits and cornbread without sugar. He holds a Master’s from the University of Oxford where he studied the art and poetry of Dante Rossetti, medieval symbolism, and the 19th century ritualist revival. His undergrad was at Sewanee: the University of the South, where he studied music and literature. Basically what that means is, he’s fortunate to have a job! (actually no…the humanities are important for a lot of things so don’t give up yet humanities students) He likes coffee, have coffee with him. Tom also enjoys travel, bike riding, reading, art, music, and so forth…

Chaplain is perhaps not as fancy as it seems! The word comes from a half of a cloak torn by the Roman Soldier St. Martin of Tours. St. Martin saw a man standing by the roadside who had no clothes. Martin cut his soldiers cape in half to help clothe the man. The other half of the cloak, the cappella, became a sacred relic of the kings of France. The priest responsible for this relic when it traveled about became the chaplain, a word derived from cappella. A chaplain, then, is someone who travels about and shares life with others.