Two historic churches in the City of London recently received a new incumbent, following the installation of the Revd Paul Kennedy by the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, Acting Bishop of London.
Paul previously worked for Deloitte in the City during the nineties, before finding a new sense of vocation and leaving to train as a priest.
He has since served in Hampshire as Rector of the East Winchester benefice, and also as Area Dean of Winchester, before returning to the City to take up his new roles as Priest in Charge of St Vedast, Foster Lane and Chaplain to the Moot Community at St Mary Aldermary.
Rebuilt following the Great Fire by Sir Christopher Wren, and badly damaged during the London Blitz, St Vedast is named for a French saint who served as Bishop of Arras in the 6th Century and is famed for converting Clovis, the Frankish king, to Christianity.
St Mary Aldermary in Bow Lane is the oldest church in London dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There has been a church at the site for 900 years and is believed to have been founded by Benedictine monks.
Like St Vedast, St Mary Aldermary was badly damaged during the Great Fire and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.
In 2010, the Bishop of London invited the Moot community to make their home at the church. A new monastic tradition, Moot offers a home to those who may not relate to traditional ideas of church and its members strive to live in a way that is both relevant to modern culture and to God.
The Revd Paul Kennedy said of his new appointment:
“St Vedast and St Mary Aldermary are both historic churches, but with very unique traditions and congregations and it is a great privilege to be back working in the City of London where I discovered my calling as a priest so many years ago.”
The Acting Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, commented:
“These two parishes express the great diversity of the Church of England. Moot at St Mary Aldermary is a place where worship is experimental and meditative; St Vedast represents the great choral and traditional strand of Anglicanism. It’s a joy to have such niches in the City of London.”