Who's Who in the Parish

Reverend Gary Bradley

Fr Gary Bradley flirted with careers on stage and at the Bar before training for the Priesthood. He was ordained in 1978 and his first job was Assistant Curate of St John’s Wood Church from 1978 to 1983.

He was appointed Vicar of St Saviour Warwick Avenue in 1983 and Priest-in-Charge of St Mary-on-Paddington Green in 1995. In 2010 the two parishes became the united Benefice of Little Venice, of which he is the first Vicar.

During his ministry he has specialized in education and bereavement. Presently he is working on bereavement care for people with severe learning difficulties and has just completed the final volume of a trilogy of novels about life as a parish priest in the Diocese of London, accepted for publication after his retirement.

In his spare time he enjoys swimming in rough waters, theatre, ballet and the wines of the Haut Medoc.

Fr Andrew Norwood

I’ve had a varied church experience and ‘career’.  I started off ordained life with a very happy curacy in Headingley, Leeds, and then moved to a parish in Handsworth, Birmingham. At that time I thought working in a parish was not going to be ‘my thing’, and ended up back in London, worked briefly as a hospital chaplain in Woolwich, before becoming Chaplain to the University of the Arts London, where I stayed for ten years.

My family is from Hertfordshire but I grew up in Zambia and Cornwall. I came to London as a student of Architecture (it was very short-lived!) and lived the other side of Paddington Station near Lancaster Gate.  My Christian faith was ignited in my teens, but grew through my attendance at All Souls Langham Place and Holy Trinity Brompton. I did a couple of stints working with a mission society in Kenya during this time, which eventually led to my studying for a Theology degree in London. I began the selection process for ordination and went to college in Durham.

So I’ve come to St Mary’s and St Saviour’s after serving in the parishes of St Mary’s Bourne St and St Paul’s Knightsbridge, and occupied myself with various ‘interim’ jobs in the meantime. I’ve realised how important belonging to a faith community is for me. The years in Chaplaincy were great and rewarding, but almost impossible to build community in a London university that has campuses spread across the city. So it’s wonderful to be ‘here and now’, in this place, and call it home.

Alongside my parish work I have interests in spiritual direction and life coaching. I enjoy art and architecture, walking the great outdoors, yoga and meditation, and I’m a (very) novice surfer at Bude, north Cornwall.

Fr Ellis Blackmore

Honorary Assistant Priest

Ellis Blackmore has been a priest in London for over 50 years. He was born and grew up in Appledore, North Devon (where he still has a holiday cottage), trained at St David’s College, Lampeter and Wells Theological College and ordained in Southwark Cathedral in 1967, and has served at St George the Martyr in Southwark, St Giles in Camberwell and our own churches of St Saviour’s and St Mary’s. He has also covered vacancies in a range of churches in many other parishes. He has exercised a community ministry in social housing areas of the Borough, Tower Hamlets, Greenwich and Brent, and as a regulation policy advisor and housing association inspector at both the Housing Corporation and the Audit Commission. For many years, he was a visiting lecturer at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities in Stockholm, and the chair of the Foundation Governors of Burlington Danes Church of England School in Hammersmith. Since he retired, he has also been chair of the Board of Shepherds Bush Housing Association, and the Scrutiny Panel of Inquilab Housing Association.

He is married to Maria, who is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church in Bayswater, and was for many years a community worker in London, and finally the Clerk of the Doctor Edwards and Bishop King’s Fulham Charity. They have two children – Alexander, who is a Consultant Surgeon at Blackpool Hospital, and has two children – Daniel, aged 8 and Freddie aged 5 –, and Henrietta, who is a director of Save the Children UK and lives in Kensal Town.

Over the years, Ellis has developed a strong interest in liturgy and the theology of the Orthodox Church. He completed a doctorate in Greek Orthodox Studies in 2012, and is currently working on a comparison of the liturgies of St John Chrysostom in the Orthodox Church and Catholic interpretations of the book of Common Worship in the Church of England. When he has time, he enjoys crabbing with his grandsons in Appledore and visiting Greece, the monasteries in Mount Athos and his father in law’s island of Skyros in the Northern Sporades.

Jonathan Cunliffe

Musical Director & Organist

Jonathan Cunliffe was born in Cambridge and took his first organ lessons at St Mary’s Church, Saffron Walden.  He went on to study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from where he graduated with BMus (Hons), MMus, and the John Campbell Keyboard Prize. During his time in Birmingham, Jonathan held various church posts as well as the organ scholarship at Symphony Hall, a position supported by the Percy Whitlock Trust.

Jonathan has taken part in masterclasses in France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland as well as the Oundle International Festival in Cambridge.  He has given recitals around the UK and Sweden and has accompanied choral music in Notre Dame, St Sulpice, and St Eustache in Paris.

Jonathan has been Director of Music in the Parish of Little Venice since Epiphany 2008, serving the churches of St Mary’s Paddington Green and St Saviour’s Warwick Avenue. He also works as an editor in the music department of Oxford University Press.

Karen Peakman

Parish Administrator

My name is Karen and I am the Parish Administrator. I took up this post in May 2008. I like to think I am approachable, sensitive, a good listener, patient and reliable.

I have had a varied career, training first in nursing and working mainly on paediatric wards, maternity and Neo-natal units. I very much enjoyed this work – meeting + caring for people, and the social life was not bad either! Having had enough of shift work (particularly night duty! – though, a plus side of night duty is that you do get to read a lot of books and become a prolific knitter!), I took the opportunity to re-train and then followed the path of administration and secretarial work.

I have lived in London for over 39 years now, and for most of that time in the local area. I first became involved with St Saviours Church in 1992 when Fr Bradley helped my husband and I when our first child died at 3 days old. The church has been a great comfort and support to me, and my family, particularly when we then lost a second son. But, the church has also been there for good times too – in particular when we celebrated the birth of our daughter who is now an adult.

I have been a member of St Saviour’s Church, having served as a Church Warden, and been involved with the P.C.C. over a number of years. I am particularly interested in the Mission to Children, and with a number of other mums, Dunja, Mari & Annette set up a Sunday school at St Saviours Church when our children were little, and it is good to see that it is still going as strong today.

I am also a would-be gardener. However, not having a garden I must rely on houseplants, the overflow of which can be seen in the parish office! As Parish Administrator I am lucky to have a varied and interesting role and very much enjoy the contact I have with the many people I meet in the Parish – having a chat, hearing their news or stories, and in this job I get to do it all.