The English Anglican priest and former soprano, Lucy Winkett, was to Bryan and Cecilia Winkett. She was educated at Dr Challoner's High School, an all-girls grammar school in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire. She won a choral scholarship to Selwyn College, Cambridge where she studied modern history. Her contemporaries at Cambridge included the comedian Alexander Armstrong with whom she starred in a production of Guys and Dolls. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1990; as per tradition, this was promoted to a Master of Arts (MA (Cantab)) degree in 1994. She then entered the Royal College of Music (RAM) in London to train as a soprano singer and completed the ARCM qualification in 1992.
As a a professional soprano singer, Lucy Winkett was a member of Cambridge Singers (Director: John Rutter) (1991-1994) and Polyphony (Director: Stephen Layton) (1994).
Having trained as a singer, Lucy Winkett changed career path and began training for ordained ministry at Queen's College, Edgbaston. During her training, she also studied theology at the University of Birmingham and graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity (BD) degree in 1994. While she was an ordinand, she was part of the BBC documentary The Calling.
Lucy Winkett was ordained in the Church of England as a deacon in 1995 and as a priest in 1996, one of the first generation of women to be ordained in the Church of England,. She served her curacy at St Michael and All Angels, Little Ilford, London in the Diocese of Chelmsford and in Manor Park, Newham. From 1997 to 2003, she was a Minor Canon and a chaplain of St Paul's Cathedral, becoming the first woman priest appointed at St Paul’s Cathedral. When her appointment was announced in February 1997, it was criticised by the cathedral's chancellor John Halliburton, who was against the ordination of women priests. She was also reportedly spat at by members of the clergy at St Paul's. From 2003 to 2010, she was Canon Precentor of St Paul's. She returned to parish ministry when she was appointed Rector of St James's Church, Piccadilly in October 2010. She was the first female priest to join the clergy of St Paul's Cathedral. Her appointment to St Paul's was controversial at the time and was initially tough for Lucy Winkett. Some could not accept the presence of a woman priest, and refused to take communion from her. But today her supporters are, it seems, many. She uses her musical and creative side in her ministry, too, and has been known to burst into a rendition of Aretha Franklin's Natural Woman while playing the piano after morning service.
Lucy Winkett writes, speaks and debates on a wide range of issues reflecting on religion, gender and contemporary culture. She was a contributor to the best-selling Why I Am Still an Anglican (Continuum 2006) and to Seven Words for Three Hours (DLT 2005). She is author of Our Sound Is Our Wound (Continuum 2010), which was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book, and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's "Thought for the Day". She is a founding advisor to Theos, a think tank launched in 2006, and the co-founder of “Leading Women”, a national development programme for women clergy. She serves as Chair of Governors of St Mary Magdalene Academy, Islington and of an NGO, the Amos Trust.
In her second year of university, Lucy Winkett's boyfriend Andrew Stillwell had an accident whilst climbing and was left in a coma. She flew out to him in Switzerland and was with him when he died. This had a lasting effect on her and contributed to her pursuing ordination.