Rosemary Lain-Priestley is a priest and writer who is passionate about words and ideas. She grew up in the beautiful Lancashire Pennines but for over twenty years has lived in London, where she loves the variety and pace of life.
She is currently an Adviser to the Bishop of London, having recently been an archdeacon based in Westminster and the City.
Having studied English Literature and Religious Studies at the University of Kent, Rosemary then worked as an immigration adviser on marriage and asylum applications in Blackburn. She trained for ordination at Rydal Hall in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District then went to South Africa for a year to travel and work at a retreat centre.
On her return to the UK a wonderful parish in Lancaster nurtured Rosemary through the steep learning curve of being a curate. She then lived and worked for seven years on Trafalgar Square as a member of the clergy team at St Martin-in-the-Fields church, where sooner or later the whole world passes through with its opportunities for connection.
For six years she was a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ and in the early hours on broadcast days met some very interesting people in the Green Room. She has presented ‘In Praise of God’ for the BBC World Service, ‘Act of Worship’ and ‘Sunday Worship’ for BBC Radio 4, and taken part in occasional interviews and phone-ins for Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’, Radio 5 Live, BBC Local Radio, Premier Radio and GMTV.
Rosemary has been Chair of Governors of St Martin-in-the-Fields High School, an inspirational secondary school in South London, where the girls showed her what it looks like to live joyfully and aspirationally. She has also been a trustee of the Sandford St Martin’s Trust – which promotes excellence in religious broadcasting – and of the Christian publisher SPCK, and Chair of Trustees of the London Centre for Spiritual Direction.
Rosemary is the author of three books exploring how we might discover God in everyday life: The Courage to Connect (2007), Unwrapping the Sacred (2009) and Does my Soul look Big in This? (2012). She contributed to The Inclusive Church Theology of Gender (2015) and is an advocate for the full inclusion in the Church of England of the gifts and experiences of women.
She is married with three children and a sprocker spaniel. After 20 years in central London they now live near the big green spaces of Hampstead Heath. In rare moments of freedom she enjoys reading novels and poetry, going to the theatre, cinema and art galleries, very occasionally ice-skating, rollerblading and horse-riding (all badly) and watching any television drama series which involves crime, counter-terrorism or forensic psychology.