Clergy History

Clergy History of St Mary Magdalene, Enfield includes a list with a few short biographies of the clergy who have ministered in this community.


Rev’d. Percy Brent
1883 - 1885
Rev’d. Percy Brent
Rev’d. George Passand Turner
1885 - 1910
Rev’d. George Passand Turner
The wall monument for The Rev'd. George Passand Turner and his wife Elizabeth is located inside the church.
1910 - 1936
Rev’d. John Thomas
Rev’d. Trevor Herbert H Kilborn
1936 - 1941
Rev’d. Trevor Herbert H Kilborn

Rev’d. Trevor H.H. Kilborne. B.A.
Date of birth Sep 1905 Registered in Kettering (3b187)

It is reported in the April 1936 edition of the Parish Magazine that the Rev. Trevor H.H. Kilborne. B.A. had been appointed as the new vicar. His age was not mentioned; but he was educated at Wellingborough and then took a two-year course in administration work. He took his B.A. at Leicester (Honours English). He then read theology and prepared for Ordination at Bishops' College, Cheshunt. He was appointed Deacon in 1930 and Priest in 1931. He was travelling Secretary for the Student Christian Movement. In 1933 he was Curate of All Hallows, Lombard St. and Secretary of a society working for the Unity of the Churches. He is keenly interested in music and holds views of that of a Broad churchman. The fact that he has a wife is also mentioned in passing.

Induction at St Mary Magdalene on Friday 5th June 1936. After St Mary Magdalene he became Vicar of Sedgley. He died in 1965.

1941 - 1948
Rev’d. A Watford Deakin
Rev’d. R Boylette Stewart
1948 - 1953
Rev’d. R Boylette Stewart
The Rev’d. R Boylette Stewart was also a scout master.
Rev’d. Frank Coventry
1953 - 1958
Rev’d. Frank Coventry

The Rev’d. Prebendary Frank Coventry,
1913 – 1994

After completing a PhD for English Literature at Emmanuel College Cambridge, Dr Coventry taught English at Raynes Park Grammar School before training at Lincoln Theological College under Eric Abbott. He was curate at Dulwich for two years, and then Chaplain to the Theological Faculty at King’s College London for 5 years. He was Vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Enfield from 1953 to 1958 and then Rector of St Marylebone Parish Church, Marylebone Road, NW1, from 1958 until his retirement in 1978. He married Ursula Gaselee in 1948, having two daughters, the younger one born while at St Mary Magdalene.

There is an obituary for The Rev'd. Frank Coventry below.

Rev’d. Arnold Hellicar
1959 - 1966
Rev’d. Arnold Hellicar
Rev’d. Cyril Witts
1967 - 1978
Rev’d. Cyril Witts
Trained at Sarum Theological College
Rev’d. John Sampford
1979 - 2001
Rev’d. John Sampford

Trained at Lichfield Theological College
Curate 1961 - 1965 St Philip, Lambeth
Curate 1965 - 1969 Beddington
Vicar 1969 - 1979 Christ Church, Hampstead
Died 2013

Interred in our memorial Garden

There is a sermon given by The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles on the day of The Rev'd. John Sampford's Interrment here.

Rev’d. Dr. Gordon John Giles

2003 - 2020
Rev’d. Canon Gordon John Giles

Trained at Ridley Hall

Curate 1995-8 The Good Shepherd, Cambridge

Succentor, Minor Canon and Senior Cardinal, St Paul’s Cathedral 1998-2003

Director of Post-Ordination Training, Edmonton Episcopal Area, from 2008-2019

Canon Chancellor of Rochester Catherdal 2020-

The Rev’d Canon Gordon Giles was born in London and went to school in High Wycombe and Wales before studying music and aesthetics at Lancaster University. An M’Litt in Philosophy at Cambridge University followed and then he worked as Chaplain for the Missions to Seafarers in the North-east of England. After studying theology at Ridley Hall Cambridge, he was ordained in Ely Cathedral and served a curacy in a parish in urban Cambridge.

In 1998 he became Succentor of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, where he sang choral services and worked on large scale events such as the service after the 9/11 bombings; Millennium and Jubilee services. In 2003 he became Vicar of St Mary Magdalene's Church in Enfield, North London, and in 2008 also became director of Post-Ordination Training in the Edmonton Episcopal Area of London Diocese.

He has written several books on church music, hymnody and liturgy including ‘The Music of Praise’ (BRF/Hendrickson, 2002); ‘The Harmony of Heaven’ (BRF, 2003); ‘O Come, Emmanuel’ (BRF/Paraclete 2005); ‘O Clap your Hands’ (Paraclete/SPCK 2008) and ‘Fasting and Feasting’ (BRF 2008); ‘Comings and Goings’ (2015); ‘The Cambridge Carol Book’ (2017) and ‘At Home in Lent.’ (2018). His booklet ‘Praying Thrice’ (2012) was launched at the Hymn Society Conference in Lancaster 2013. He writes a regular hymn meditation in the RSCM's Church Music Quarterly and as well as being one of the editors of the newly published ‘Ancient and Modern’ hymnbook, he is also a Director of the English Hymnal Company. In 2012 was awarded a PhD by Middlesex University for his work on hymnody, liturgy and musicology.

Gordon accepted the Royal appointment to become Canon Chancellor of Rochester Cathedral beginning June 2020.

Rev’d. Dr. Gordon John Giles

2021 -
Rev’d. Dr James Barry Lawson

Father James studied history and theology at the University of Edinburgh, and went on to do a doctorate at New College Oxford, where he studied St Augustine’s reconfiguration of the Platonic ascent of the soul in the City of God. He trained for the priesthood at Mirfield and served his title at All Saints, Poplar in the East End of London.

He was Chaplain and Fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and then Senior Chaplain and Press Officer to the Bishop of Salisbury. He then served as Vicar of St Michael and All Angels, Stoke Newington Common in Hackney and Vice Principal and Charles Marriott Director of Pastoral Studies at St Stephen's House in Oxford.

He is married to Nana who is a psychologist.

If anyone is able to supply profile details or photographs of any of these Priests which could be added to this section, please contact us.


1886 - 1895~Rev G. Vasey
1889 - 1891~Rev J.G. Bulman
1891 Jan-Nov~Rev O.A. Archer
1892 - 1896~Rev J.H. Davis
1896 - 1901~Rev J.I. Ball
1892 - 1907~Rev G.D. Hughes
1908 - 1909~Rev C.V. Raynor
1910 - ?~Rev W.J. Wright
1914 - 1916~Rev H.M. Bankart
1916 - 1918~Rev H. Daniels
1918 - 1920~Rev A.R. Johnson
1920 - 1955~No Curate
1955 - 1960~Rev Gordon Martin
1960 - 1972~No Curate
1972 - 1973~Rev Theo Cunningham-Burley
1974 - 1979~Rev Dr R. Macqueen
1981 - 1982~Rev Christopher S. Scott
1985 - 1988~Rev Jeffrey G. Heskins
1989 - 1992~Rev Jonathan W. Sewell
1993 - 1996~Rev Reginald H. Dunn
1998 - 2002~Rev Stephen Taylor
2004 - 2017~Rev Jackie Fish
2010 - 2015~Rev Maureen Lunn (Parish Deacon)
2015 - present~Rev Maureen Lunn ordained as Curate

Obituary of The Rev’d. Prebendary Frank Coventry

Rev’d. Frank Coventry

Prebendary Frank Coventry, Rector of St Marylebone, 1958-78, died on November 12 aged 81. He was born on April 2, 1913.

Frank Coventry was a scholar-parson whose long and distinguished ministry in London was fired by a firm Christian faith clothed in gracious English manners. In one sense, he represented an old-fashioned strand in the Church of England – and especially in the diocese of London – having no interest in ecclesiastical partisanship and being identified with no wing within the Anglican Church.

Born in South London, Frank Coventry was the youngest of the three children of James and Florence Coventry. His parents were Methodists and, though while up at Cambridge the young Coventry joined the Church of England – largely through the influence of C.S. Lewis and the appeal of the music and architecture of the Anglican tradition – he retained throughout his life a fondness and affection for his Free Church roots.

Educated at the Strand School, Brixton, he read English at King’s College, London, taking a first. Towards the end of his time there septicaemia left him gravely ill and he was not expected to live. Although he pulled through, much to the surprise of his doctors, his life was lived never far from the shadow it cast. At Emmanuel College, Cambridge, he pursued his study of sentiment and sensibility in 18th-century English literature, gaining a PhD for his thesis on the work of Richardson, Fielding and Johnson. It was there he met his wife Ursula, studying social science at the London School of Economics evacuated to Cambridge during the war. They were married in 1948.

Coventry taught English at Raynes Park Grammar School, numbering among his pupils the broadcaster Robert Robinson. The lack of spiritual values among the boys encouraged him to offer himself for ordination. Two years at Lincoln Theological College, under the direction of Eric Abbott, later Dean of Westminster, led to his ordination in 1946 and a curacy at All Saints, Dulwich.

Rejoining Abbott as chaplain and tutor at King’s College, London, in 1948 he spent five years there before being appointed vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Enfield in 1953. Coventry was heart and soul a parish priest and thrived on the round of parish activities. Following the sudden death in 1958 of the Rev J.B.H. Evans, the relatively youthful Rector of St Marylebone, Coventry was appointed by the Crown to the living which was to become his greatest work.

St Marylebone was an extremely busy parish to which he applied a pastoral heart, informed by his own physical frailty, and an effective preaching ministry to which he brought clarity and scholarship. Apart from one year spent on exchange with an Episcopalian clergyman in Charleston, South Carolina – where his impeccable English manner made a great impression – he devoted his energies to the people of St. Marylebone and to the many young curates given to him to train. In 1973 he was made a Prebendary of St. Paul’s Cathedral and on three occasions served as chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Westminster.

Retirement brought little respite from ecclesiastical duties and Coventry worked assiduously during vacancies at St. Mary, Brookfield, St. Mary Magdalene, Munster Square, and St. Saviour, Eton Road. The time he had for leisure pursuits was filled with music and architecture and he remained an able pianist to the end of his life. He and his wife were active members of the Hampstead branch of the National Trust and of the Heath and Old Hampstead Society. A man firm on the basis of the Christian faith, he wrote a book in defence of St. Paul.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters, a third daughter having died in infancy.

Rev’d. Frank Coventry