Olive Fleming Drane

Olive Fleming Drane is a Scottish theologian and Christian minister who is widely known for her use of clowning in the pulpit. As her clown characters Valentine and Barni she has traveled the world, and been featured in radio and TV programs in many countries. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, she was educated in England and there she met her husband John Drane while they were both teenagers. She originally worked in research physics and medical technology, but then studied theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, in the early 1990s, and also has a Master of Theology degree from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She works alongside local churches as a mission consultant as well as continuing a worldwide ministry of teaching and preaching. She is a Fellow of St Johns College Durham, where she teaches on the MA in theology and ministry at the Anglican theological school Cranmer Hall. She is also an adjunct professor in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, and is involved in the teaching and development of the mission shaped ministry course of the Church of England's Fresh Expressions initiative.


  • Family Get Together: Planning All-Age Worship (Birmingham: Administry 1990)

  • Contributor, Janet Litherland (ed), Who’s Who and What’s New in Clown Ministry (Colorado Springs: Meriwether Press 1993)

  • ‘Bible Readings’, in Setting the Agenda: the Report of the 1999 Church of England Conference on Evangelism (London: Church House Publishing 1999), pp. 11-19

  • New Start: All-age Ecumenical Liturgical Resources for Advent 2000 (London: CTBI 2000)

  • ‘Breaking into Dynamic Ways of being Church’, in Breaking New Ground: the first Scottish Ecumenical Assembly (Dunblane: ACTS 2001), pp. 138-154

  • Being Creative with Forms of Worship (Sheffield: Administry, 2002), Administry How-To Guide 3/2

  • Clowns, Storytellers, Disciples (Oxford: BRF 2002; Minneapolis: Augsburg Press 2004)

  • co-authored with John Drane, Family Fortunes: faith-full caring for today's families (London: Darton Longman & Todd 2004)

  • Spirituality to Go: rituals and reflections for everyday living (London: Darton Longman & Todd 2006)

  • co-authored with John Drane, "Worship and Preaching", in Janet Wootton (ed), This is our Story: Free Church Women’s Ministry (Peterborough: Epworth Press 2007), pp. 50-67.

  • [With John Drane] ‘Children and Death’, in Anne Richards & Peter Privett (eds), Through the Eyes of a Child (London: Church House Publishing, 2009)

  • 'The Holy Fool: Clowning in Christian ministry', in The Bible in Transmission Spring 2011, 17-19


  • [With Peter Neilson], Towards Tomorrow: Exploring your Church’s Future (Church of Scotland Dept. of National Mission 1997)


  • Olive Fleming Drane blogs at [1]
  • See also [2]