Mark joined the team in October 2022 as Lead Retail Chaplain, heading up our multifaith engagement with the three-hundred-and-fifty or so retail and restaurant tenants on the Estate.
Previously Mark was Lead Chaplain at Bluewater (a large retail and entertainment centre in Kent) and Coordinating Chaplain with Kent Workplace Mission. He came to chaplaincy from a background in Anglican parish ministry in Kent, Essex, and Lancashire. In each post, Mark sought to connect with people at work in the parish, developing chaplaincy work in retail, business, industry, and education. He is an assistant priest in the Anglican parish in Rochester, where he lives. He is a Benedictine Oblate with the World Community for Christian Meditation and their regional coordinator for Kent.
Mark comments, “Chaplaincy helps me live out my faith in meaningful connection with my neighbours at work. The best of religion and spirituality has always developed out of reflective responses to real world realities, not as escape routes from them. Attending to the reality of God’s presence and the truth of God’s love in the world must mean attending to the lives of those I believe to be God’s children. That means everyone! For many, work takes up a great deal of life’s time and energy. It is good to be here on site, alongside people in the workplace, learning about their life and work, listening to their stories, responding to their needs. My faith compels me to be here, informs my response to the people I encounter, and shapes my contribution to this incredibly diverse community we are part of together on the Wharf.”
Before studying theology at Oxford, Mark’s first degree was in Modern Languages at Durham. He is a qualified teacher of English as an Additional Language. Having taught English in businesses and universities in Colombia for two years, Mark continues to enjoy teaching international students online in his free time and volunteers teaching refugee families in Kent.