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St Margaret's Church, Lee

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The Revd Henry Morgan

During this period of interregnum, we have been pleased to welcome visiting clergy to officiate at services. We recently welcomed Revd Henry Morgan who was a former curate at St. Margaret’s in the 1970’s

Henry writes…….

I served as a curate at St Margaret’s from 1970-1973, and went on to serve in parishes off the Walworth Road, and in another just north of Reigate. Then in 1991 I felt called by God to leave parish ministry and exercise my priesthood outside the institutional church. I had little idea of what this might mean, but with the help of friends I set up The Annunciation Trust to support me, and set out. What has evolved since then has been a ministry primarily in spiritual direction, a term you may not be familiar with.

Classically it is a ministry in which one person seeks to help and support another in their spiritual journey, but it can take many forms. For a majority of churchgoers simply attending on a Sunday, or being a member of a small group, may provide all the support they feel they need. But an increasing number of people, both inside and outside the churches, have come to value one to one spiritual direction, and it’s a ministry which has seen a resurgence over the past forty years.  The busier the church becomes, seemingly, the greater the need for personal, reflective spaces.

I like a model of spiritual development which, put very simply, distinguishes three stages. In the first, you are happy to be part of a church which offers clear, black and white teaching which you imbibe, and a group of which you feel a part. In the second you begin to find the answers offered in church unsatisfactory, or you start to ask questions aren’t acceptable: in a word, you start to think for yourself and value your independence. In the third stage you have come to accept that life is complex; there are number of ways of looking at most things; doubt and ambiguity are OK; and toleration and compromise are necessary in the search for a greater good.

In my experience, its people who find themselves in stages two and three who are likely to seek spiritual direction.  Southwark Diocese has run courses in spiritual direction for many years and offers help in finding spiritual directors for enquirers.

There are also courses in London.

On leaving parish ministry Sylvia and I lived in a parish house in south west London in exchange for some parish duties, before moving to an empty Vicarage outside Doncaster, courtesy of the Bishop of Sheffield. When I ‘retired’ six years ago we moved to Worcestershire.  I continue to meet with people at home, in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, and here in London, where I stay six times a year across the road from St Margaret’s, with the Sisters of St Andrew [some of whom also offer spiritual direction].

Over the years The Annunciation Trust has grown, and we have a web-site at:

www.annunciationtrust.org.uk