The Rev. Thomas D. Clay, a retired Episcopal priest, is a cathedral enthusiast, miniatures hobbyist, and master paper modeler. Since 2003, he and his wife, Kathleen, have traveled to Europe twelve times to visit some of the world’s greatest cathedrals. He has documented their adventures on his website, CathedralQuest.com. There, he also displays the paper models he has constructed from kits he has acquired on his travels.
Born in Huntington, West Virginia, and raised in nearby Ashland, Kentucky, Thomas received his M.Div. from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky in 1963 and was ordained in December of that year. He has served parishes in Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland. He retired in 1998. In 2002, he began volunteering as a docent at the Washington National Cathedral. His time there sparked his interest in learning more about sacred architecture. In 2003, with Kathleen by his side, Thomas crossed the Atlantic for the first time to visit several cathedrals in the United Kingdom, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, as well as cathedrals in Canterbury, Salisbury, Wells, and Bath.
In addition to sharing his passion for cathedral history and architecture on his website, Thomas has been invited to teach about his travels, the cathedrals and the models in the Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, and the College of Southern Maryland. He has presented and received recognition at the International Paper Modelers Convention, held annually in Sterling, Virginia. Thomas and Kathleen live with their beloved dog, Jeremiah, in Accokeek, Maryland.