I am a first year ordinand studying theology at Westcott House in Cambridge. Part of the Westcott training process is a long-term attachment to a parish, to experience parish life, to assist in the life of the Church and to gain experience of preaching etc. The reason that I am doing my placement in East Dulwich, rather than in Cambridge is because my partner, Tabitha, lives close by and is herself a student at Greenwich University and undertaking a placement in London allows me to see her at weekends (this is quite a common arrangement at Westcott).
Before going up to Cambridge I was on an extended placement at St Paul’s Church, Deptford, where I met Fr Brian McHenry who, I understand, is an old friend of St John’s; prior to that I worshipped at Southwark Cathedral and Croydon Minster. I have, however, been a bit of an ecclesial traveller over the years and have worshipped in a variety of different churches.
Until mid-September this year I worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) where I had been employed since 2000. My last job was helping manage the Parliamentary portfolio if the FCO’s Minister in the House of Lords, Lord Howell of Guildford and latterly Baroness Warsi. I have also worked on issues as varied as the EU, immigration, Counter Terrorism policy and our relations with Australasia and the South Pacific nations. (One of my oddest jobs was to prepare the plans for the death of the King of Tonga – the half-masting of flags, messages of condolence; another was trying, and failing, to escort George Osborne’s cat out of the building.) I have also worked as a library assistant, a shop assistant, a voluntary lay worker for the Methodist Church and as a cinema projectionist in Lincolnshire.
My main interests are walking, history (particularly Reformation and Church history), fantasy fiction and visiting book shops. I am not that well-travelled, despite being employed by the FCO (the farthest I got was either Brussels or Bradford). However, one of the most interesting and inspiring places I have visited were the painted cave Churches of Cappadocia in Turkey.