New Associate Priest at St Paul’s Knightsbridge

Posted on: Sunday 8th May 2022

We are delighted to announce the appointment of The Reverend Dr Gillian Straine as Associate Priest and as a member of the clergy team at St Paul’s Knightsbridge. The appointment is made with the enthusiastic support of both the PCC and the Bishop of London.

Gillian first served at St Paul’s Knightsbridge some 20 years ago as a Lay Pastoral Assistant; since then she has completed her BSc and subsequently a PhD in Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College, studied Theology in Oxford University while at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and was ordained in Oxford, serving her title at Kidlington. In 2016 she became the CEO of The Guild of Health and St Raphael, a national charity which explores the links between faith and health. In that capacity, she has had permission to officiate in London since 2014, and will now be licensed by The Bishop of London to the parish. Her licensing will take place later this month.

Dr Straine will join The Reverend Dr Luigi Gioia, Dr Joseph Fort and Mr Phil Davies in leading thinking on outreach/missional programmes, particularly concentrating on health, wellbeing and sustainability. In April 2022 the Parish of St Paul’s Knightsbridge became one of the Guild of Health’s Healthy Healing Hub parishes, and in September, led by Dr Tom Tull, the parish launches a science-led midweek programme to explore connections between liturgy, music and wellbeing.

The Reverend Canon Alan Gyle, Vicar, said, “Gillian is a fine preacher, a fantastic thinker and a great advocate of the exploration of the spiritual dimensions of health and wellbeing. She is also Scottish, which is always a good thing! She was the parish’s first female sub-deacon back in the early 2000s, and it is great to welcome her back in a priestly role among us.”

The Reverend Dr Gillian Straine said, “St Paul’s Knightsbridge in many ways has shaped the priest I am today and so it is an honour to ‘return home’ and work with the team. I am excited by Alan’s vision to put health and healing at the centre of mission, especially vital as the church works to help communities to recover from the pandemic. I look forward to meeting you and to serving in the parish.”

Gillian is married to Gregory Platten who is Canon Residentiary and Chancellor of Lichfield Cathedral; they continue to live in Lichfield with their family, and Gillian will join both the worshipping community at St Paul’s and its ministry team on a regular basis. Gillian is the author of: Science and Religion: a path through polemic (2013, SPCK) and Cancer: A pilgrim companion (2017, SPCK)