New Director of Mount Street Jesuit Centre

Published on 21 Nov 2016

Photo: Center: Elaine Rawlins (London Jesuit Volunteer coordinator), Fr Chris Pedley SJ (Director). From left to right: Sr Anouska Robinson-Biggin (Young Adult Ministry), Brian Purfield (Adult Faith Formation), Anne Paolino (Administrator), Fr Paul O'Reilly SJ (GP for Homless people), Karl Grey (Administrator until October 2016), Lynne Galloway (Spirituality, Manager), Rachel Spence (Spiritual Direction coordinator).

"In September I took over from Paul O’Reilly as the Director of the Mount Street Jesuit Centre.  I have been a member of the Farm Street Parish Team for the last three years and as such have attended the weekly Mount Street Jesuit Centre team meetings and have been involved in various aspects of the work of the Centre.

I was brought up in Rugby, have been a Jesuit for forty years and a priest for thirty.  Most of my training after novitiate was here in London but I have also spent a couple of years in Zimbabwe, as well as time in the USA and the Philippines.  My first ten years after ordination were spent working in residential retreat houses, Loyola Hall on Merseyside and Craighead outside Glasgow. After this I was then asked to become Librarian at Heythrop College, the Jesuit founded college of the University of London in Kensington Square.  After thirteen years working in the Library and in the administration of the College I joined the team at Farm Street in 2013.

Having been an administrator for sixteen years I was very glad to be back doing pastoral work and especially glad to have the opportunity to do some work with Centre, especially helping with Ignatian Days, giving spiritual direction and working in various ways with the Young Adult Ministry.

The Centre brings together ministries of Spirituality, Adult Faith Formation, Young Adult Ministry, Volunteering and Social Justice.  These ministries are mutually supporting and lead by a team which works, prays and reflects together.  The Centre works very closely with the Farm Street Parish.  However, the work of the Centre goes far beyond that of the core team.  Almost everything we do is dependent on the very large number of volunteers involved in all sorts of ways in our activities and programmes, both front of house, in facilitating courses, one day workshops and retreat days, and behind the scenes with the administration and publicity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their part in enabling the Centre to be what it is today.

Underlying all we do is our identity as a work of the British Province of the Jesuits rooted in the spirituality of St Ignatius Loyola.  I am delighted to be part of this work bringing the Gospel alive in these various ways to the diverse and cosmopolitan city in which we live and further afield.

Finally, I must say thank you to Paul O’Reilly who has sustained and supported the Centre as Director for the last twelve years.  He continues to be part of our team’s social justice ministry working as a General Practitioner bringing medical services to the homeless through the Dr Hickey Surgery."

Chris Pedley, S.J.