Chaplain – Tom Poynor

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Donate to Cal Episcopal

Where can you find the chaplain?┬áThe chaplain’s office is at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley.

Tom is a native of Alabama and moved to California to take up the role of chaplain for the Episcopal Church at Cal. His education is varied with 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, and theological studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. His undergrad was at Sewanee: the University of the South, where he studied music and literature. The variety reflects his belief that life is about making connections, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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.