IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Vicar Simon Harvey says farewell to ‘a special place’

11 January, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

The Rev Simon Harvey and congregation at his final service on Sunday. ‘It was an emotional occasion,’ he said

A VICAR said an emotional farewell as the congregation packed the church for his final service.

The Rev Simon Harvey gave his last sermon on Sunday, the feast of Epiph­any, after more than eight years as spiritual leader of St Mary’s Church in Upper Street.

The father-of-two said: “It was a very moving and emotional occasion. A wonderful way to say farewell to a place that has welcomed me with open arms from the moment I moved here.”

The 55-year-old is moving to Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk, with his wife Jo to take charge of a parish there.

“Islington has been full of surprises,” he said. “Life runs at such a fast pace. It’s one of the busiest boroughs in London. You might expect this to make people impatient and agitated, but my exper­ience has been the opposite.

“The people I have met were amazingly friendly and patient. They welcomed me into the community.

“When my first wife passed away, I was touched by how many people came forward to offer their condolences.

“It’s a special place.”

Lay ministers and the Rev Caroline Shuttleworth, who is curate, will take over Mr Harvey’s services while the church looks for a replacement.

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