Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Boris, the Mayoralty and Ray Lewis: Still not 'doing God'?

I was very pleased to see my old mate Ray Lewis had been appointed by Boris Johnson as a Deputy Mayor with special responsibility for tackling youth crime (though see here for a cautionary note about the title).

However, I was slightly bemused to find that although Ray is being described as a 'former prison governor' there is no mention of him being an Anglican clergyman. Indeed, I had to check more than once that this was indeed the Ray Lewis I knew when he was a student at Oak Hill, then curate at St Saviour's, Forest Gate and finally Team Vicar at St Matthew's, West Ham, just round the corner from where I lived in the confusingly named Mathews Park Avenue (one 't'), which gave the name to my own book imprint MPA Books.

Moreover, the GLA's biography of Ray seems to make it as hard as possible to detect his church role. Can you spot it here?
He began his career working as an administrative officer for the Civil Service before becoming a Clerk in Holy Orders for the Church Commissioners in 1990. During this time he gained a degree in Theology & Pastoral Studies from Middlesex University [ie Oak Hill Theological College].
As an Anglican clergyman I've described myself in various ways, but never as "a Clerk in Holy Orders for the Church Commissioners"! All this makes me wonder whether the new administration at County Hall is still going to be one that follows the Labour approach of not 'doing God'.

Meanwhile, good on yer, Ray.

Revd John P Richardson
7 May 2008

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  1. G'Day Vicar,

    It is a shame, and it seems to speak once again to an apparent theophobia on the part of the media, a condition that is pandemic on this side of the pond.

    Prayers and high hopes for Mr. Lewis in his new duties. I'm confident that he will bring a level of salt and light to the table.

    Andy Terry
    Stafford (Sister City to Staffordshire)

  2. ummm, Staffordshire isn't a city, it's a county, in which there is a Stafford.

    Sorry, Perdanctic Englishness.

    Darren Moore
    Tranmere, (there's one of those in the USA too), 1 hour from Stafford, England.

  3. I stand humbly corrected, and all the better for it...

    Andy Terry
    Stafford(Sister City to Stafford)

  4. I have found that his time as "a Clerk in Holy Orders for the Church Commissioners" (which I am still trying to fathom the meaning of) is not mentioned, or at least not detailed, in any of his biographies, even those pre-dating this appointment.

    One has to wonder on this.


  5. Or perhaps he just left out that the fact that he worked for the Church of England as a vicar because he didn't want anyone to know he had been barred from office.

    Might not be a conspiracy on the part of the secular media...

    Just a thought

    The Revd Y. Stevens, Southampton (just off the University campus)

    (by the way in order to comply with your policy on names I should point out that I am recorded in Crockfords as the Revd S. Stevens, however my use of the initial 'Y' here denotes not an attempt to deceive or claim anonymity but simply the fact that I changed my name a couple of years ago)