St Michael & All Angels, Bedford Park, has a full team of clergy, including several non-stipendiary (unpaid) priests who combine their posts at St Michael’s with other roles in the community. The vicar of St Michael’s & St Peter’s Acton Green is Father Kevin Morris and the Associate Vicar, with particular responsibility for St Peter’s, is Father Fabrizio Pesce. Our curates are Father Edward Barlow and Mother Sarah Lenton. Honorary Assistant Priests are Fr Graham Morgan Kt, Father Neil Evans, Mother Maggie Davidge-Smith and Father John Gibaut. Our subdeacon is Professor Graham Holderness and Anne Mower is our sacristan and lay reader. You can read more about them below.
Father Kevin Morris, Vicar, St Michael & All Angels, & St Peter's, Acton Green
Father Kevin became Vicar of St Michael’s on 24th May 1996. He was born and educated in South Wales and later read music in North Wales, studying composition with William Mathias and Jeffrey Lewis. After this he spent a year in Pakistan, working with USPG in Lahore, before theological college in Cambridge. As part of his formation for ordination, Fr Kevin spent some time in Jerusalem, teaching at St George’s College.
Fr Kevin was ordained deacon in 1988 at Llandaff Cathedral and served as curate in the Parish of Roath in Cardiff, with special responsibility for St Philip’s church, Tremorfa, a church on a housing estate on the east side of Cardiff. He was ordained priest in 1989.
In 1991 he moved to London to be curate of St Alban’s, Holborn, an important and influential church in the early history of Anglo-Catholicism. The Vicar was Fr John Gaskell, one of the great preachers and spiritual directors of the day, and under his direction the church became renowned for its music and had a significant ministry to the homeless and people with AIDS. During this time Fr Kevin was also chaplain to three West End Theatres.
Fr Kevin has a passionate concern for how the parish church serves the whole community through its daily worship and service as well as through its buildings. As a result, his time at St Michael’s has been one which has seen a lot of physical changes to the church plant: the Hall has been refurbished, the church repainted (back to its original colours), a new Vestry and Sacristy have been completed and a new organ built.
In addition to being Vicar of St Michael’s and chair of the Bedford Park Festival, Fr Kevin served for 11 years as Director of Post Ordination Training in the Diocese of London, has been the London Diocesan chair of Affirming Catholicism, and is currently the President of Sion College, a London based college for clergy, which was founded in 1630.
Fr Kevin has a deep interest in liturgy, Biblical studies and music and in engaging with contemporary issues with a generous orthodoxy. He is also very interested in the interconnection of Christianity and the Arts and has a particular interest in the theatre and poetry: He is Chaplain to the Tabard Theatre and Chair of the WB Yeats Bedford Park Project.
Fr Kevin was the first incumbent to be married in post, and at St Michael’s, and he and Miriam have two children. In April 2015 he also became the priest-in-charge of the Parish of Acton Green and was made Vicar of St Peter’s Acton Green in May 2016.
You can read some of his sermons here.
Father Fabrizio Pesce, Associate Vicar, St Peter's Acton Green
Father Fabrizio joined the St Michael’s team in July 2015 with primary responsibility for St Peter’s Acton Green. He was licensed as Assistant Priest in May 2016. He cares deeply about evangelism and making the church the centre of community life. You can read more about St Peter’s on its own website.
He was born and brought up in Southern Italy, in Puglia, and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 2003. His formation for priesthood took place in Argentina where he worked as a missionary priest with the order of Missionaries of St Charles (Scalabrinians) for seven years.
As a recently ordained priest, Fr Fabrizio worked for two years as assistant priest at Madre de los Emigrantes Parish in Buenos Aires and then was appointed as Chaplain of the Italian Community in Buenos Aires. His role entailed many responsibilities in terms of promoting activities, events, seminars, exhibitions and meetings and keeping private as much as public relationships with religious and non-religious Italian associations and diplomatic representatives.
In 2010 Fr Fabrizio left his order and eventually moved to London where he got married to Valeria, and they have two children. He worked as an International Sales Manager in the advertising and online marketing industry for almost three years in London. In 2015 he was received into the Church of England as a priest and began working at St Michael’s and then St Peter’s.
He has a life-time interest in music and loves singing. He likes different genres such as jazz, classic and contemporary Italian music. He loves Italian food as much as International and Fusion cuisine. He is passionate about cinematography and appreciates independent films more than commercial movies. He loves reading, especially studies and literature related to Spirituality, International Migration, History and Politics. He likes practising sports, in particular football and swimming.
Father Edward Barlow, Curate
Originally from Cheshire and a former chorister at Manchester Cathedral, Fr. Edward studied Philosophy at the University of Glasgow before training as an RE teacher at York St. John University. He has taught RE and Philosophy in secondary schools across London over a period of seven years. During this time he completed an MA in Religion and Philosophy at Heythrop College and also worked as a GCSE examiner. His academic interests include Interreligious Dialogue and Philosophy of Religion.
He married his wife Kate in 2012 and their son Elliot was born in December 2015. They have a cat. In his spare time, Fr. Edward enjoys choral singing and participating in amateur operatics and musical theatre. He watches far too much Doctor Who, bakes cakes, and collects carnivorous plants.
You can read sermons by Father Edward Barlow on his blog. And this is a YouTube recording of his address at the London Buddhist Vihara’s Inter Faith Celebration 2016: The parable of the Good Samaritan and its call to Love Thy Neighbour
Mother Sarah Lenton, Curate
Mother Sarah read Theology at King’s College London and has spent most of her working life in the theatre. She was ordained deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral this July and is now an assistant curate at St Michael and All Angels, and St Peter’s, Acton Green. As a minister in secular employment, Sarah continues to work as a lecturer and programme contributor for the Royal Opera House, English National Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and as a broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. She was recently licensed as a theatre chaplain, based at the ROH, by the Bishop of Stafford at the annual Christmas concert at St Pauls Covent Garden. Her free time is spent in the theatre, in Venice, or cycling and skiing (downhill in both cases) in Europe. She is the author of three volumes of Creative Ideas for Children’s Worship, and has two more books in the pipeline.
Father Graham Morgan Kt, Honorary Assistant Priest
Father Graham has been honorary assistant priest at S Michael’s since 2002. His early life and education was in South Wales where he was trained as a nurse. He received his formation for ordination on the Southwark Ordination course and was ordained deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1983 and priest in 1984 where he combined parish work with his nursing career.
He served as curate at St Stephen’s Gloucester Road, and then from 1990 at Holy Innocents, Hammersmith before coming to St Michael’s.
Sir Graham held the post of Executive Director of Nursing and Quality of the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust from 1995 until his retirement and during 2005 he became the Trust’s Director of Service Improvement and Strategy. He was created a Knight Bachelor in 2000 for services to health care.
He has a long an distinguished history of pioneering service change within the NHS and led the clinical team that developed the first treatment centre in Europe ( the Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre. This is recognised as a trail blazer for the entire elective care programme in the UK and his work on redesigning and extending the roles of nurses and therapists within the ACAD was fundamental to its success.
Fr Graham remains a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and has advised governments on workforce issues in the UK, Europe and Russia.
He plays a full role in the sacramental life and ministry of the parish and in our pastoral care. His ministry is shared between the parish and St Margaret’s Convent and St Mary’s Nursing Home of which he is a Trustee.
Fr Graham has a great love of music, especially opera, old films and the musical theatre. He has a profound commitment to liturgical theology, spiritual direction and ethics, particularly Christianity in the work place.
Father Neil Evans, Honorary Assistant Priest
Father Neil is Director of Ministry for the Diocese of London. He has been working in the field of ministry development for around 18 years, first alongside parish ministry and for the last ten years in a full time capacity.
Fr Neil’s formation and training for ordination took place at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield and he was ordained deacon at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1984 and priested in 1985, serving his curacy at St John on Bethnal Green.
He has been Vicar of two London parishes: for ten years at St Michael and All Angels Stoke Newington Common in Hackney, and subsequently for seven years at All Hallows, Twickenham, where he was also vicar of the rugby ground!
Before ordination Fr Neil worked as a manager in the Health Service. He was awarded a Doctor of Ministry and Theology from King’s College, London in 2010; his thesis focusing on the professional development of clergy. His publications include Developing in Ministry (SPCK. 2012) and with John Maiden What Can Churches Learn from their Past (Grove Books. 2012).
Fr Neil is married to Debbie, who is a teacher, and they have two teenage children, Rachael and Robert, currently edging their way to the top end of Twyford.
As Director of Ministry, he is responsible for the policy and strategy for clergy and lay ministerial support, training and development and for parish development across the London Diocese. This ministry includes continuing ministerial development, leadership training and ministerial review for clergy, consultancy with parishes, and developing lay ministries.
Fr Neil is often ministering around the Diocese on Sundays, but is delighted to regard St Michael’s as his home church.
He loves music, with Bach and Vaughan Williams being top favourites, but he is also a great fan of Cleo Lane and Pink Floyd! He is a season ticket holder for Harlequins and everything stops for the Six Nations. His singing has ranged from church choirs, through London choral societies to the terraces of Quins. He keeps fit by regularly allowing his son to beat him on the 5km Park Run.
Mother Maggie Davidge-Smith, Hon Assistant Priest
Mother Maggie is a hospital chaplain at Ealing Hospital and Meadow House Hospice and the West Middlesex University Hospital. She also runs a small psychotherapy and supervision practice. She has particular expertise in relation to Gestalt and Transactional Analysis.
Mthr Maggie’s formation for ordination took place on the Southern Theological and Training Scheme ( STETS) based in Salisbury and she is was ordained deacon in 2002 and priest in 2003 at St Paul’s Cathedral. Mthr Maggie began her ordained life in non- stipendiary ministry as curate of St Dunstan’s Acton before becoming a hospital chaplain.
She has been associated with St Michael’s for many years and joins us when not working or on call. She is Chair of the Organ Donation Committee at Ealing Hospital.
Graham Holderness, Subdeacon
Graham Holderness is a writer and critic who has published over forty books and hundreds of chapters and articles of criticism, theory and theology. He is acknowledged as a formative contributor to a number of branches of Shakespeare criticism and theory. He has published pioneering research in Christian literature and theology, in journals such as Harvard Theological Review, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, Literature and Theology, and Renaissance and Reformation. His book Re-writing Jesus: Christ in 20th Century Fiction and Film(Bloomsbury, 2014), is described by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as ‘in a different class of originality and excellence from anything so far written about the fictional transformations of Jesus’ life’.
Graham Holderness is also a novelist, poet and dramatist. His novel The Prince of Denmark was published in 2001; his poetry collection Craeftreceived a Poetry Book Society award in 2002; and his play Wholly Writ was in 2011 performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, and by Royal Shakespeare Company actors in Stratford-upon-Avon. His most recent publications include Nine Lives of William Shakespeare (Bloomsbury/Arden Shakespeare, 2011), Tales from Shakespeare: Creative Collisions(Cambridge University Press, 2014), and the historical fantasy novel Black and Deep Desires: William Shakespeare Vampire Hunter (Top Hat Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book on The Faith of William Shakespeare to be published by Lion Hudson in 2016.
You can read some of his sermons here.
Anne Mower, Sacristan and Lay Reader
I have been attending St Michael’s since the Autumn of 1983 when we moved to Acton from Nottinghamshire. For ten years I worked as the administrator at Maples Nursery School in Acton, and then for four years in our parish office as the first administrator. Through these thirty-two years my sons have grown up, I lost my husband, and now have three grandchildren, and all of this sustained by the community at St Michael’s. I have done most things from dusting the pews to serving on the PCC. I have sung in the choir for almost thirty years. In 2006 I became the Sacristan, which means I look after the vestments and all the supplies needed for our worship. I was licensed as a Lay Reader or Lay Minister in 2011 after a three-year training period, so I am now part of the preaching ministry here, and occasionally have the privilege of taking Communion to people who cannot get to church. All this provides me with a deep sense of fulfilment, and has given me a place in a wonderful community of friends.
Father John Gibaut, Honorary Assistant Priest
Canon John Gibaut is Director for Unity, Faith and Order of the Anglican Communion. He was previously the Director of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order based in Geneva, the theological commission that resolves issues of Christian disunity, and promotes a vision of the Church as a communion of unity in diversty.
Before that he was a professor at Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa. Canon Gibaut has also served at Toronto’s St James’s Cathedral and St Clement’s Mission Centre in the Diocese of Quebec. Well known in ecumenical circles, he has served on several national and international dialogues and commissions including the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.