Brian McHenry, Vicar

The Rev’d Brian McHenry

The Rev’d Brian McHenry

I am a Londoner. I was born in 1950. Most of my life I have lived in south London . I went to school in Balham and at Dulwich College. I read Modern History at New College, Oxford.

After taking my degree, I tried accountancy as a career. This was not a success and I then studied law and was called to the Bar in 1976. It was tough to make a living as a young barrister. I learned that the Government employed salaried lawyers, which attracted me. In 1978 I joined the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and went on to have a fulfilling and incredibly varied career as a government lawyer – court work, public inquiries, drafting legislation, advising the UK’s competition and consumer agencies and much more.

The late 1970s were also very significant in my personal life, as I married Liz and we then had two sons, Tom and Joe, who are now grown-up.

In 1980 I was elected to the General Synod and continued on it for most of the next 25 years. I served on several significant bodies, including the Archbishops’ Council.

I have been an active member of the Church of England since childhood. I was licensed as a Reader in 1976 and have also been a Sunday school teacher.

For many years I had a sense of being called to the priesthood. I finally allowed my vocation to be tested and the Church recommended that I should be trained. During my last few years as a lawyer, I attended the part time ordination course, SEITE.

In 2008 I took early retirement from the Civil Service, was awarded the CBE for my public and voluntary service, was ordained a deacon and went to train as a curate at St Paul’s church, Deptford. In 2009, I was priested. Deptford was an exciting place to be, and it is there that I learned my new “trade” as a priest.

As my end of my time in Deptford approached, I explored what God might next have in store for me. I met Archdeacon Paul (Archdeacon of Bromley and Bexley), who suggested that I might apply to become the Vicar of Orpington. I am delighted that I was appointed. I like to think that All Saints’ and Orpington feel the same! Being the Vicar here is very hard work but enormously rewarding and great fun.

In the margins of my life, I love swimming, jogging, walking and travelling. I enjoy the house which we share in the Dordogne with my family. I read as widely as I can – mainly history, the great novels and classic detective fiction. I also follow the Arsenal!