It was announced this week that I am to be the Vicar of Llangollen, Llantysilio and Trevor and I am really looking forward to getting to know everyone in and around these communities in the months and years ahead.
* In his spare time Lee Taylor is a member of the
British Music Hall Society.
I appreciate this opportunity to say a few words to introduce myself before I move to Llangollen later this year.
I was born and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire. I studied theology at the University of Wales, Lampeter where I was also organ scholar and choirmaster.
When I left university I worked at a busy call centre for the gas and electricity supplier Norweb Energi. I had the delightful task of working in the customer complaints department. I was one of those mysterious people at the other end of the line who put you on hold and force you to listen to a pan-pipe rendition of Greensleeves!
At weekends I worked evenings at a local Working Men’s Club playing a selection of schmaltzy tunes on the organ before the main bingo session.
I moved to London in 2002 to take up the post of Deputy-Head Verger at Southwark Cathedral. During my time in London I also worked as a volunteer chaplaincy assistant at Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospitals.
In 2010 I left London to train for ordained ministry at Ripon College, Cuddesdon.
I served my curacy (the initial clergy job) in Leigh-on-Sea. One of the most challenging projects I took on during my curacy was a visit to India in 2014 with a group from the parish. We worked at an orphanage and volunteered at the various Mother Teresa institutions around Calcutta that are run by the Missionaries of Charity.
I am currently Associate Vicar of Croydon Minster. During my time in Croydon I have worked hard at establishing partnerships with various organisations, business and charities around the town.
Working with the community is at the heart of my priestly ministry as I believe that the work of God thrives and flourishes in community.
One of the most exciting mission and community ventures that we did as a church was a beer blessing ceremony at our local pub, The Dog & Bull. This event not only brought together a wide section of the community but it also signalled the open and welcoming face of the church in the heart of the community.
I have to say at this point that I am no stranger to inns: my mother ran two pubs in Wigan where I used to serve behind the bar, play the piano and chat to the regulars. It was great fun.
What will I bring to Llangollen? I consider myself to be an engaging and creative person with a good sense of humour and a down-to-earth approach. This probably stems from my love of Music Hall and my experience of performing ‘turns’ on the amateur stage. I am a member of the British Music Hall Society and I'm currently pursuing an informal study on the theology of humour.
I also enjoy playing and composing music, ballroom dancing, the arts, hiking, and keeping fit.
One of my priorities in ministry is to be a visible witness to the gospel in the ‘public square’ and to be available to anyone in need. I am greatly looking forward to my move to Llangollen and to serving all sections of this wonderful and vibrant community.
Wishing you peace and joy.Father Lee Taylor