Chiswick’s First Woman C of E Vicar Installed

Martine Oborne licensed at special ceremony at St. Michael’s, Sutton Court

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Mayor of Hounslow Amrit Mann, Rt Reverend Paul Williams, Bishop of Kensington, Mary McLeod MP, Reverend Martine Oborne

St Michael's Sutton Court

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The Rt Reverend Paul Williams, Bishop of Kensington licensed Chiswick’s first woman Church of England vicar at a special licensing ceremony on Thursday evening, 26th January 2012.

Over 300 guests filled St Michael’s (Sutton Court) to capacity, including local dignitaries Conservative MP Mary McLeod, the Mayor of Hounslow Amrit Mann and Riverside Ward Councillors Felicity Barwood, Paul Lynch and Sam Hearn. The Reverend Martine Oborne is only the 10th vicar in the church’s 100-year history.

Martine said: “St Michael’s is a beautiful Arts and Crafts church with a committed and loving congregation. God is clearly at work in this place and it is a privilege to serve Him, this congregation and this Parish as Vicar.”

The Bishop of Kensington said: "I am delighted at the appointment of Martine as Vicar at St Michael's - she will be a very thoughtful, caring and creative leader within the church and wider community. Like many churches across Chiswick the congregation of St Michael's has a compelling vision for connecting with people throughout the community."

Martine is married to Peter Oborne, the political commentator, author and documentary filmmaker. They have five children aged between seven years and 24 years

Representatives of the local community officially welcomed Martine and her family to Grove Park. They included: Sarah Herbert, owner of Elmwood Montessori; Jayne Atkinson, chairperson of St Michael’s Players, the popular amateur dramatics society founded 60 years ago; and Alistair Jones, conductor of Chiswick Choir, founded by the late John Thackray 35 years ago. Alistair Jones took the opportunity to invite any tenors or basses amongst Martine’s family to join Chiswick Choir!

Martine was curate at St Mary, Islington prior to her appointment at St Michael’s. Before this, her career included investment banking (she was a director of NM Rothschild), and she is a successful author of three novels as well as writing and illustrating five children’s books.

Recently Martine was awarded a Team London Award by the Mayor of London for her outstanding contribution to improving London and the quality of life for Londoners. During her time in Islington, she founded a children’s nursery and helped found a new CofE secondary school. She has also worked closely with the elderly, sick and asylum seekers..

Martine will lead her first service at St Michael's on Sunday 29th January when she will celebrate and preach at the 10am Parish Communion.

January 28, 2012