Rev Dr Claire Macdonald

Portrait photo of Claire MacDonald. Claire wears glasses, blue drop earrings and has long hair. She is smiling directly at the viewer.

Contact Details




Rev Dr Claire Macdonald FRSA

Tutor in Ministerial Training and Chaplain

Claire MacDonald joins Harris Manchester as Chaplain and Unitarian Ministry Tutor from a background in both congregational ministry and the arts. She comes to HMC from Lewisham Unity in South London, where she served as minister from 2017 to 2022. In 2015-17, she trained as a minister at Harris Manchester while completing an MA at Heythrop College, University of London, focused on the impact of modernity on the three Abrahamic faiths. She also earned a BA in English from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Critical and Creating Writing at the University of East Anglia. 

Claire has worked in the arts for more than four decades. She co-founded the influential company Impact Theatre Cooperative in 1978 and moved into teaching and writing following a junior Judith Wilson Fellowship at Churchill College, Cambridge. She has worked extensively in teaching and leadership at a number of British and American Universities as well as holding Fellowships and Visiting positions in Australia, Norway and the Netherlands.  

Since the mid-1980s Claire has written on the experimental tradition in theatre and performance, focusing on women artists and writers across cultures and genres, among them Kathy Acker, Bobby Baker, Cornelia Parker, Fiona Templeton, Deborah Levy, Rose English, Alison Knowles, Rose Garrard, Susan Trangmar, Lizzie Calligas, Idit Nathan, Leda Papaconstandinou, Yvonne Rainer and Martha Wilson. In 1995 she co-founded the cross-disciplinary journal Performance Research. She is an Associate Editor of PAJ: a Journal of Performance and Art and a Board member of the Live Art Development Agency and of the journal Performance and Religion.  

She writes ‘Rising Green’, a monthly column for the Unitarian publication The Inquirer. She has an interest in the sermon as a creative form across faiths and has preached, given public talks and curated public events on the arts and spirituality in the UK, Europe and America. Her religious thinking and writing shares with her creative practice an interest in the social and spiritual commons, the place where spiritual awareness meets social change.