Bordered on the north and west by the River Thames, Kingston Episcopal Area brims with history. Kingston upon Thames, which is said to be the site of several 10th-century Saxon coronations, has been described as “the place where England began” as a single country.
St Mary, Barnes was dedicated by Archbishop Stephen Langton in 1215 as he travelled back from Runnymede after the sealing of Magna Carta. Walter de Merton, who was educated at Merton Priory, was a key figure in developing the English university system when he founded Merton College, Oxford in 1264. Lambeth Palace has been the Archbishop of Canterbury’s London home for nearly 800 years.
Yet we are also very much of the 21st century. Nine Elms on the South Bank is one of the largest redevelopments in Europe, bringing 20,000 homes and 25,000 jobs to Vauxhall and Battersea as well as two new stations on an extension to London Underground’s Northern Line. In normal times Waterloo Station is the busiest in the UK and Clapham Junction has more trains passing through it than any other station in Europe. Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is deeply involved in the search for a solution to climate change. Bishop Richard co-directs a major national programme, “Equipping Christian leadership in an age of science”. We reflect London’s global role in communities from every part of the world.
We serve our population of about 1.1 million through ministries in more than 100 parishes, nearly 50 church schools, four universities, seven hospitals and hospices, and two prisons. All our churches are important centres in the community, offering worship, teaching, pastoral care and social action. Many are linked with Church of England schools. We have some excellent pioneer ministries and all our lively, committed and passionate clergy and lay people work closely together within eight deaneries and beyond.
We are committed to supporting the Diocese of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, have a close relationship with the Diocese of Jerusalem and have good relationships with the Dioceses of Barbados and Kingston, Jamaica. We rejoice in building links and understanding with people from a rich array of faiths.
Area Environmental Adviser: Ian Christie
Area Warden of Readers: Marilyn Burkett
Chair of Kingston Area MEACC: Revd Funke Ogbede
Area Directors of IME:
Kingston Area Mothers’ Union representative:
Area Adviser for Women’s Ministry: Revd Katie Thomas
Area Retirement Officer: Revd Pam Stephenson
Kingston Parish Mission consultant: Katharine von Schubert
Kingston Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns Committee (KMEACC)
KMEACC meets quarterly to discuss issues affecting ethnic minorities. On 25 October 2020 we had a presentation on Black youth, the Police and the criminal justice system.
On 25 February 2021, we invited one of our local GPs to talk about COVID-19 vaccines to dispel the myths surrounding the vaccines and encourage people who were reluctant to receive it, especially within the Black community.
Our next event is on 7 March 2021 which will be a presentation on sickle cell disease led by a specialist.
The Kingston Episcopal Area is linked with the Diocese of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe. We have strong links with Bishop Cleophas Lunga, his clergy and parishes. The Kingston-Matabeleland Link Committee supports the Diocese in prayer, with visits and by supporting and encouraging projects. The current political situation in Zimbabwe has made our link all the more important.
In July 2011 the Bishop of Kingston took a group of five people, both clergy and lay, to the Diocese of Matabeleland. Links with schools and parishes are in place.
Lambeth Archdeaconry covers the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Merton, while Wandsworth Archdeaconry covers the London Borough of Wandsworth and the Royal Boroughs of Kingston and Richmond (south of the Thames).
Both areas are very varied and both include many inner-city communities but while Wandsworth also has the green spaciousness of Richmond Park and Kew Gardens, Lambeth includes the significant arts and cultural area of the South Bank and an innovative Pioneer Arts Ministry in the neighbouring Nine Elms Development. Nine Elms is also close to the extensive redevelopment, in Wandsworth Archdeaconry, of Battersea Power Station as a retail and residential centre. All the churches in the area are working closely together across the archdeaconry boundaries to support both the existing and new communities and businesses at this time of immense change in the area.
There are chaplains in a number of schools in both archdeaconries but Lambeth also has them in St Thomas’s Hospital, Brixton Prison and part of King’s College, London. Wandsworth’s chaplaincies include St George’s University Hospital in Tooting, Kingston Hospital, Wandsworth Prison, and Whitelands College in the University of Roehampton.