Fr Simon has been the resident priest at St Anne’s since February 2013. This is his first full time parish having been ordained in 2000. Until moving to Soho his ministry was exercised on a voluntary basis alongside his paid work in television as a puppeteer.
Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, he discovered a talent for puppetry when still a child and started taking bookings to entertain at children’s parties at the age of nine. Now, forty five years later, he has performed puppets on over 1000 television programmes (from Children’s BBC to Spitting Image) and worked on movies with the Muppets, as well as internationally on countless TV commercials, pop videos and stage productions.
His career as a puppeteer has given him a sense for the visual and for strong communication (along with a sense of humour) which all find natural outlets in his ministry whether in church,in pastoral encounters in the community or at the Parish School where he is a Foundation Governor.
He has been a Christian and an Anglican for all his life, but recalls feeling God’s call to service when reading Isaiah chapter 6 as a teenage choirboy. He continues to feel daunted, humbled and excited to be responding to that call in Soho today.
Simon is regularly seen out in the parish on walks with his ‘pastoral assistant’ Betty, a Jack Russell he adopted from Battersea Dogs’ Home. He is very thankful to be supported at St Anne’s by Rev’d Dr Keith Riglin, Chaplain of Kings College, as Assistant Priest as well as by a lovely congregation.