The Vicar

Introducing The Reverend Max Bayliss 

Before I trained for Holy Orders at Westcott House I grew up in rural Cambridgeshire. I went on to be ordained in St Albans Cathedral, serving my curacy at All Saints’ Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. During my title post I read a master’s degree in early modern history at Oriel College, researching wit and wordplay in the early modern sermon. There I met my wife, Alice, a classicist and ancient history graduate. I was the treasurer of the MCR and she the bar manager and together we made an undefeated croquet cuppers duo. After she graduated, Alice spent some time living in Venice and then moved to Battersea, which is why, in the summer of 2020 at one of their superb supper clubs, I proposed to her in a quiet corner of the Chelsea Physic Garden. 

For the last few years, I have been Chaplain, Fellow and Tutor at Queens’ College, Cambridge. I’ve also been roped in to be the Senior Treasurer of the College Union, Boat Club, and the Honorary Padre to the Cambridge University Officer Training Corps. I am also an honorary assistant priest at Little Saint Mary’s and the university and young vocations chap for the diocese of Ely. In some of my spare time I am writing a PhD on the sermons of John Donne. I am an amateur gardener, a keen squash player, and a sculler with the finesse and enthusiasm of Toad of Toad Hall. 

I’m profoundly honoured to have been appointed as your next vicar. Supported by your prayers and aided by the Holy Spirit I hope to continue the ministry of Chelsea Old Church by seeking to go further into the heart and mind of Christ. Together we can do this by extending our ministry of hospitality and strengthening connections in the community; by deepening our worshiping life which is so beautifully enhanced by the ministry of music; and by engaging intellectually with the Christian tradition.  (courtesy Anchor Magazine)

Previous Vicars:

The Reverend Prebendary Clarke Edward Leighton Thomson  1951-1992

The Reverend Doctor Peter D Elvy                                             1992-2006

The Reverend Canon David P E Reindorp TD DL                       2006-2021

Further Back


Reginald de St Albans1289–90 to 1299

Sir Robert de Starandone

Roger de Berners1316

William de Bray1316 to 1318–19

Nicholas Hosbounde1318–19 to 1348

Martin de Moulish1348

William Palmer1368

Thomas de Preston1368

John Basset1368 to 1371

John Wright de Stansted1371 to 1372

John de Foydon (v. Foxdon)1372 to 1374

Richard Mokynton1385

Richard Everdon1385 to 1388

John Beaugraunt1388 to 1392

John Bishop1392 to 1394

John Balsham1394 to 1394–5

Robert Orum1394–5

John Cambridge1406

Peter Hynewyk1411

John Abbey1411

Robert Broun1413

Richard Cosyn1413

John Scarburgh1433

Geoffrey Medewe1433 to 1435

Alexander Broun1435 to 1442

Thomas Boleyn1442

William Walesby1450

William Lilly1450 to 1451

Thomas Shalers1451

William Fideon1451 to 1454

John Pennant1454 to 1455

William Hebbing1455–6 to 1456

William Massanger1456 to 1469–70

William Mille1469 to 1481

John Mardelay1481 to 1486

Thomas Machey, A.M.1486 to 1492

George Percy alias Gard1492

William Ingelard1502

Robert Tunstall1502 to 1503

Thomas Loworth1503

Robert Dandie1530

John Larke1530 to 1543

Robert Richardson1543 to 1554

James Proctor1554

Richard Myers1554 to 1558

Matthew Myers1558

Robert RichardsonRestored

John Churchman1569 to 1574

Thomas Browne, S.T.B.1574 to 1585

 (fn. 2) Richard Ward1585 to 1615

George Hambden, A.M.1615 to 1632

Samuel Wilkinson1632 to 1669

Adam Littleton, D.D.1669–70 to 1694

John King, D.D.1694 to 1732

Sloane Elsmere1732 to 1766

Reginald Heber1766 to 1770

Thomas Drake, LL.D.1770 to 1775

W. Bromley Cadogan, M.A.1775 to 1797

Charles Sturgess, M.A.1797 to 1805

Hon. G. V. Wellesley1805 to 1832

1819 St. Luke's takes over as parish church and Chelsea Old Church becomes a chapel of ease

John William Lockwood, M.A.1832 to 1836

Charles Kingsley, M.A.1836 to 1860

A. Gerald W. Blunt, M.A.1860 to 1901

Archdeacon H. E. J. Bevan, M.A.1902 to 1916

From: 'Appendix: Rectors and incumbents', Survey of London: volume 7: Chelsea, part III: The Old Church (1921), pp. 84-85 


John Rush, LL.B. 1832 to 1855

Robert Henry Davies, M.A. 1855 to 1908

Sherburne Povah Tregelles Prideaux, M.A. 1908 to 1912

Malcolm Stuart Farmer, M.A. 1912 to 1916

Weston Henry Stewart, M.A.1916 to 1927

A. W. Deakin  1927

J. H. T. Maude-Roxby  1927-1934

Ralph. E. Sadleir    1934-1946

David H. A. Williams 1947-1950

C. E. Leighton Thompson 1950 - 1951

Chelsea Old Church regains its status as a parish church in 1951

The Vicarage