Canterbury House is a radically welcoming center for faith, music, art, and activism that serves the University of Michigan community.
At Canterbury House:
We welcome people of all faiths and none, without reservation or attempted indoctrination.
We encourage grappling with hard moral, spiritual and theological questions.
We’re engaged with the issues of student debt and economic insecurity.
We reject the cultures of violence, racism, patriarchy, homophobia and transphobia.
The atmosphere is relaxed, the worship is informal and accessible, and the tea kettle is on the stove. During the week we offer an open door, a quiet place, and a listening ear, as well as discussion groups, Bible studies, and social activities. We are committed to engagement with all of creation, so here you will also find social activism on behalf of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed.
Every Wednesday evening at 6:00pm, Canterbury House offers a delicious, free home-cooked meal to all students. Come enjoy good food in a warm, welcoming community setting — no strings attached! Supper always includes vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, and we are happy to accommodate other dietary needs upon request.
Canterbury House has served as a home away from home, a safe and supportive environment for LGBTQ students, a gathering place for activist student organizations, and a terrific concert venue over the course of its 130 years as a campus ministry. It has been labeled the most progressive religious organization on the University of Michigan campus.
In particular, Canterbury House has been known as a haven for anti-war activists, and for being one of the premier small concert venues in the country. In the 1960s, musicians such as Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, The Byrds, and Janis Joplin made Canterbury House one of the finest intimate venues in the United States. The Students for a Democratic Society, with leaders like Alan Haber and Tom Hayden, met in the House’s basement to plan actions in protest against the Vietnam War. In the current decade, Canterbury House has hosted musicians such as Michelle Chamuel, Theo Katzman, and Joey Dosik, as well as hosting the Student Union of Michigan, a campus activist organization.
Matthew was originally born and raised a Southern Baptist in Alabama and found the Episcopal Church through campus ministry at the University of Virginia. In the last decade of his life and ministry he’s worked with young adults, the LGBTQ+ community, two quiet parishes in Hawaii, and buildingless churches asking fundamental questions about the commitment of their resources to building up the community around them. He enjoys conversations about the Meaning of It All, comic books, techno, playing with his dog (Bear!), and traveling on a shoestring.
What’s a chaplain? (borrowed from the Episcopal chapel at Berkeley)
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.
Jean Westhead was born in Liverpool, England. She has more than 25 years’ experience working in nonprofit organizations in Michigan. In her spare time you can find Jean taking photographs and hiking in one of Ann Arbor's many parks and nature areas. In 2016, she discovered the joy of long distance hiking while walking the Camino Frances with her family.
Liam Charron is a pianist, composer and bandleader studying Jazz and Contemplative Studies at the University of Michigan. He has studied with musicians such as Andy Milne, Ellen Rowe, Roger Jones and Kyle Athayde, and has performed in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Liam leads various groups and projects on campus, and outside of music he enjoys reading, playing frisbee, and collaborating with friends.
Sound & Silence Coordinator
Cameron (they/he) is a percussionist and composer currently living in Detroit, Michigan. As an advocate for art that centers healing and communal joy, their work aims to act as a mediator between human communities and the land that sustains them, often through exploring the knowledge of plants and fungi.
They are a founding member of slapslap, an avant-rock post-funk performance art quartet comprised of two electric bassoonists and two drummers. In their spare time, Cameron can be found nestled in the white pine trees of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula or baking sourdough bread. More info can be found at cameronbwilson.com.