Annette Cooper

The Venerable
Annette Cooper
Archdeacon of Colchester
Diocese Diocese of Chelmsford
In office 2004–present
Predecessor Martin Wallace
Other posts Acting Archdeacon of Stansted (2013)
House of Bishops Regional Representative for East Anglia (2013–present)
Ordination 1988 (deacon)
by David Bartleet
1994 (priest)
by Patrick Harris
Personal details
Born (1953-11-15) 15 November 1953
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Residence Witham, Essex
Parents Harry Whitaker & Grace Whitaker
Spouse Andrew Cooper (m. 1972)
Children Two sons
Profession social work

Annette Joy Cooper (born 15 November 1953) is a British Church of England priest. She is a priest in the Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford and has been the Archdeacon of Colchester since 2004.

Early life

Cooper was born on 15 November 1953, the daughter of Harry Whitaker and Grace (née Parnham, later James). She was educated at Lilley and Stone Girls' High School, then an all-girls grammar school in Newark-on-Trent.[1]

From 1979 to 1988, Cooper worked as a social worker. In 1980, she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Open University. She gained a number of social work qualifications, including a Certificate of Qualification in Social Work (CQSW) and, in 1985, a Diploma in Social Work (DipSW). She left her first vocation upon ordination.[1]

Ordained ministry

Having trained with the Southwark Ordination Course, Cooper was ordained a deacon on 3 July 1988 at Rochester Cathedral by David Bartleet, Bishop of Tonbridge.[2] She then became a non-stipendiary minister at St Peter, Pembury and simultaneously a full-time assistant chaplain in the Tunbridge Wells health authority until 1991.[1] From 1991 to 1996, she was a full-time chaplain, at Bassetlaw Hospital.[1] On 31 May 1994, she was ordained a priest by Patrick Harris (the then Bishop of Southwell) at St Anne's Church, Worksop; 1994 was the first year that women were able to be priested in the Church of England.[3]

In 1996, Cooper moved to become priest-in-charge of St Mary's, Edwinstowe, where she was also a chaplain at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest (until 2000), area dean of the Worksop deanery (from 1999) and an honorary canon of Southwell Minster (from 2002).

In 2004, Cooper became Archdeacon of Colchester in the Diocese of Chelmsford, in which role she was also made an honorary canon of Chelmsford Cathedral. When her archdeaconry was split on 1 February 2013, she became (additionally) Acting Archdeacon of Stansted until the first incumbent of that post (Robin King) was collated on 15 September 2013.[4]

During 2013, Cooper was elected by and from among the female "senior priests" of the East Anglia region to attend meetings (as 'participant observers') of the House of Bishops as one of eight Regional Representatives, as an interim measure until six women sit in the House by right.[5] As of October 2015, two women sit in the House by right as bishops diocesan.

Personal life

In 1972, the then Annette Whitaker married Andrew Cooper. Together, they have two sons.[1]



  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "COOPER, Ven. Annette Joy". Who's Who 2015. Oxford University Press. November 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  2. "Ordinations: Rochester (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6543). 8 July 1988. p. 13. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 30 October 2015. (subscription required (help)).nb: since Cooper went to Pembury in 1988, one may safely assume that "A. Joy" is a typographical error for Cooper.
  3. "Ordinations: Southwell (Archived; subscription only)". Church Times (#6852). 10 June 1994. p. 5. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 30 October 2015. (subscription required (help)).
  4. Diocese of Chelmsford – Archdeaconries in the Diocese of Chelmsford (Accessed 30 October 2015)
  5. Church of England – Final list of female representatives to House of Bishops (Accessed 5 December 2013)


Church of England titles
Preceded by
Martin Wallace
Archdeacon of Colchester
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