The Revd Dr Andrew Walker
I was born in Bookham in Surrey, the youngest of three boys, to parents who were committed Christians, both Tertiary Franciscans - though one was ‘high’ church and the other was ‘low’. My brothers and I were all taken each week to St Nicholas’ and at the age of 11 given the choice whether to continue or stay at home – determined to be different, and perhaps to have my parents to myself for a change, I elected to continue to go to church whilst the others desisted. This turned out to be a slippery slope, compounded later by being unable to read History at Durham University and so turning to Theology as a fall back.
Though jobs followed with the Notting Hill Housing Trust, the British Council and a spell running a restaurant in York, the call to ministry came to seem irresistible. After training and ordination, curacies followed in Fareham, Hants and St John’s Wood, before a first incumbency at St Peter’s Streatham.
Whilst at St John’s Wood I began my association, which continues to this day, with the three-year Ignatian Spirituality Course based in London (becoming director of this in 1996). I also trained as a Psychosynthesis Counsellor at the Psychosynthesis and Education Trust, now based at London Bridge. Later I did an MA in Spirituality in Heythrop, my dissertation being on the spiritual aspects of depression.
From 2000 I was in the City of London as a parish priest and as founder director of the London Centre for Spirituality. Parish duties were of course unusual, the churches having no services on weekends, at Christmas and Easter and over August (!) but ministry there saw a different kind of involvement in the lives of many who worked and visited there, through the work of the Centre and through memorial and carol services,
chance encounters, the Livery Companies and latterly as chaplain to the Lord Mayor.
Since then I have been working in a parish in Lewes, East Sussex whilst doing a doctorate through Kings, London (on the daily prayer of the clergy), and this was awarded in the autumn of 2014.
Hobby-wise my interests have usually been around the cinema, swimming, walking, cooking and entertaining and reading fiction. But more recently I have developed an interest in horticulture and spend time regularly as a volunteer gardener at Great Dixter in Northiam.
My home is in Brighton and I stay in London a few nights a week to make my work at the St Marylebone Healing and Counselling Centre more possible.