It was impossible to put into words what St Mary’s means to us as we said our goodbyes.
I came to Islington in 2010 and felt immediately at home. I had never before lived in London and the exciting pace of life was thrilling. And yet despite the energy, which is sometimes frantic, I discovered an unexpected kindness in this inner-city parish.
So much has been written about Islington. It’s a well-researched and well-documented place. In the first weeks of ministry, I devoured the statistics and reports. But I quickly learned that this is a place of thousands of personal stories. It’s a people-place. You belong simply by pitching up. No one who chooses to live here would do so without wanting to spend time with people. It’s the most crowded borough in the UK and if you don’t like the jostle, you won’t stay long. A walk to Angel requires you to dodge along the crowded pavements.
To be a vicar in such a dynamic place is to be constantly engaged with people. I’ve loved that. And as I look back on more than eight years of exciting ministry, it’s the people that I’ll miss most.
Thank you Islington. And thank you St Mary’s.