St Michael and All Angels: We Need To Talk About Kevin

St Michael and All Angels: We Need To Talk About Kevin

Father Kevin Morris

This year Father Kevin Morris is celebrating 21 years of dedicated service at St Michael and All Angels, Bedford Park

This Christmas Day it won’t necessarily come as a surprise to the congregation of St Michael and All Angels in Bedford Park to see their vicar taking the lead role in a mini-pantomime. For Father Kevin Morris, it’s become something of a festive tradition.

‘Of course, I love the old-fashioned way in which the Church still tells the Christmas story through nativity tales and carol services,’ says Fr Kevin. ‘But, on Christmas Day itself, we do things slightly differently. It’s a big family occasion for us and we always put on a little panto; all the children – and adults – really enjoy getting involved. It’s wonderful to hear everyone laughing. And yes, I usually play the Dame; there are some embarrassing photographs out there…’

Originally from Maesteg in South Wales, Fr Kevin read music before training for the priesthood. He was ordained in Cardiff in 1988 and, three years later, moved to London to become curate of St Alban’s, Holborn.

Fr Kevin’s attitude encapsulates what he describes as his ‘rather medieval approach’ to church buildings. ‘Back then, the church was the centre of everything, not just a place of worship,’ he explains. ‘There was little divide between the sacred and the secular. That’s why today I’m so keen that our facilities are used by a wide cross-section of local people and why the annual Bedford Park Festival is so important. It’s about putting the church at the heart of the community – and that doesn’t just happen by itself.’

After he became Vicar of St Michael and All Angels in 1996, the Parish Hall was the first project that Fr Kevin undertook. ‘There were actually very few places to meet around here, so the congregation and I started to think about how we could provide a suitable building. Five years later, after much hard work, the Hall was completed. Mind you, I’ll write a book about it one day. The project was predicated on Lottery funding, which didn’t materialise. It was all touch-and-go up to the last minute.’

Three years ago Fr Kevin also became Vicar of St. Peter’s Acton Green in Southfields Road. ‘St Peter’s was failing financially and in numbers,’ he says. ‘Although it isn’t much to look at from the outside, inside it’s amazing – a huge basilica-like church. So, we have a great building and there’s a real community around it. The question for us is, how can they best be of use to one another? We’re making encouraging progress.’

For Fr Kevin striking a balance between serious acts of worship and hosting secular activities is fundamental to how St Michael’s can play a positive role in the community. ‘I think thatwe’re very good at making that transition,’ he says. ‘If I’ve done anything, I’d like to think that I’ve given people the confidence to take their faith, both intellectually and emotionally, as a serious business – and that it involves every single aspect of life.’

St Michael and All Angels
Bath Road, W4 1TT
020 8994 1380

St Michael and All Angels
Bath Road, W4 1TT
020 8994 1380

Alastair Hilton


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