Chaplain - The Reverend Canon Charles Pickstone
Charles is a native of Manchester, was educated at Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales, the Sorbonne, and Brasenose College Oxford, where he read Greats. After a year’s community work in Walworth, south-east London, he spent three years at Mirfield theological college in West Yorkshire, a course that included studying for a degree in theology at Leeds University and a summer placement at the church of St Edward the Martyr, in East Harlem, New York.
His first curacy was in Birkenhead on Merseyside (then an area of high unemployment and bleak prospects), his second jointly at St Giles, Camberwell, a landmark church that hosted a very diverse south-east London community, and St Matthew’s, Camberwell, a back-street church behind Loughborough Junction station. Since 1989 he has been vicar of St Laurence, Catford, also in south-east London.
He has a particular interest in the relationship between theology, spirituality and the visual arts, being a trustee of Art & Christianity Enquiry, an educational charity, and on the editorial board of Art & Christianity, and a visiting scholar at Sarum College where he teaches the visual arts module of their ‘MA in Christian Spirituality’ course. He is chair of the Fabric Advisory Committee of Southwark Cathedral, and was installed as an honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral in 2013.
He was chaplain to the Aldermanic Sheriff of the City of London in 2008/9, and, with Fr George Bush of St Mary le Bow, joint chaplain to the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Roger Gifford, 2012/13.
However, as a parish priest, all this is secondary to the celebration of the Eucharist, and the pastoral care of the people of Catford who have been entrusted to his care. Ensuring the presence of the Church at the heart of the local community is his chief ambition.
Charles has a wealth of experience in the Livery world and we were delighted that, when first founded, Charles agreed to be our Foundation Chaplain. His wife, Helen, is one of our Founders. Charles blessed ceremonial nurses’ lamps before they were passed amongst the diners at the Installation Banquet, when we were formed as a Guild held at Guildhall on 12th May 2016. This was the first occasion that the lamps were circulated as a symbol of our unity and fellowship.