Queen approves Highbury vicar’s transfer to St Paul’s Cathedral

Rev Jonathan Brewster. Picture: St Paul's Cathedral

Rev Jonathan Brewster. Picture: St Paul's Cathedral - Credit: Archant

Rev Jonathan Brewster has an exciting new role at St Paul’s after 14 years in Highbury. He looks back on his service in Islington with the Gazette.

Not many people can say their new job has been approved by the Queen, and then confirmed by Downing Street. But Rev Jonathan Brewster can.

On Monday, Rev Brewster, vicar of Christ Church Highbury, was announced as the new canon and treasurer of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Major appointments at an institution like St Paul’s need the Queen’s say-so – and she must have been impressed by Rev Brewster’s work in Islington.

In his new role, which he starts in July, Rev Brewster, 50, will be responsible for overseeing the cathedral’s finances and upkeep.

It means he will be departing Highbury after 14 years.

“It feels really sad to be leaving,” he admitted. “These 14 years in Islington have been a huge part of my life, and for my family as well – my children are pupils at St John’s Highbury Vale Primary School and I am a governor.

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“I’m so proud of what the church has achieved, from restoring the spire to being a hub for community activities.”

Christ Church Highbury offers everything from a night shelter for homeless people to fitness classes and youth work.

And Rev Brewster said: “We are absolutely committed to being a church open to the community every day of the week – not just on Sundays.

“We have all kinds of activities and it’s actually very hard to get a booking at the church at the moment!”

Of his new job at St Paul’s, Rev Brewster, who was ordained in 1994, said: “My job is making sure the building is fit for purpose, and it’s actually in very good condition at the moment.

“But it also takes an enormous amount of money and work to keep that going, which is why it would be virtually impossible not to charge people an admission fee when visiting.”

For now, Rev Brewster, who since 2014 has also served as Area Dean of Islington (providing a link between the borough’s churches), is focusing on his final two months at Christ Church Highbury.

He said: “It’s just a wonderful congregation of 300 people, a mix of young and old. And I’m enormously proud to have worked with them.”