Rosemary Lain-Priestley is a priest and writer who is passionate about words and ideas. She has strong northern roots from her childhood in the Lancashire Pennines but has lived in London for almost twenty years.
Her current role as Archdeacon for the Two Cities is focussed on the churches of Westminster and the City of London. She loves the pace and variety of life there and the glorious diversity of the people she meets.
Rosemary is the author of three books exploring the sacred in everyday life: The Courage to Connect (2007), Unwrapping the Sacred (2009) and Does my Soul look Big in This? (2012) and is Chair of Trustees of the London Spirituality Centre. 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.
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 two-year learning curve of being a curate. She then lived and worked for seven years on Trafalgar Square in the gloriously diverse community of St Martin-in-the-Fields church, where sooner or later the whole world passes through with its creative challenges and opportunities for connection.
For several 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. She was also a trustee of the Sandford St Martin’s Trust, which promotes excellence in religious broadcasting.
Rosemary has been Chair of Governors of St Martin-in-the-Fields High School, an inspirational secondary school in South London, where the girls taught her what it looks like to live joyfully and aspirationally.
She is married with three children and lives in central London. In rare moments of freedom she enjoys reading modern novels and poetry, going to the theatre and cinema, ice-skating and rollerblading (badly) and watching any television drama series which involves crime, counter-terrorism or forensic psychology.