Who’s who: Fr Robert Thompson

PUBLISHED: 10:01 26 July 2018


The new vicar for St James’ and St Mary’s explains why he agrees with his predecessor that the Church of England is institutionally homophobic

After a shock resignation of its vicar in a gay marriage row last year, St James’ in West Hampstead and St Mary’s in Kilburn has appointed somebody who plans to carry on his fight: Robert Thompson started in the role at the weekend.

Fr Thompson, a councillor in Kensington and Chelsea, joins the parish just over a year since his predecessor Andrew Foreshew-Cain resigned saying the church was “institutionally homophobic”.

Speaking days before he led his first services in his new parish, he agreed with Andrew’s claim.

He said: “If you look at the statistics, we have them on age, and on BME [black and minority ethnic], but we don’t do any in terms of the LGBT representation in the church.”

He believes the reason the issue hasn’t been tackled earlier is because of conservative elements in the Church of England.

He told the Ham&High: “For a very long period, LGBT people have been accepted in certain parts of the church. It’s an issue for those people who are more conservative. There is a place for the bishops to discuss the issue in public. They would rather deal with it behind closed doors, rather than out in the open.”

He confirmed that he would continue to push for gay marriage to be accepted in the church. Robert himself has moved into the vicarage at West Hampstead with his long-term partner Carles.

The new vicar previously worked as a chaplain in hospices and the NHS. He was also working at St Clement’s Church, near Grenfell Tower, in the days after the fire and delivered the sermon at a service attended by London mayor Sadiq Khan less than a week after the blaze.

As a councillor he heads up the Grenfell Recovery Scrutiny Committee. “The fire has directly affected the whole community,” he said.

“We have 72 people who lost their lives, their friends, their families, and all those who have been made homeless.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 15:35

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

Yesterday, 15:00

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

Yesterday, 14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

Yesterday, 13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

Yesterday, 10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Community groups are celebrating after the owners of the “landmark” Alliance pub in West Hampstead had planning permission for extensive remodelling and redevelopment refused.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Twenty-five people, including eleven in Camden, have been charged with drugs offences after two-days of dawn raids in Camden, Islington, Brent and Lambeth.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Sardonic, sarcastic and funny are three of the words that have been used to describe the late-SOAS lecturer and King’s Cross local Prof Lawrence Saez, who died at the beginning of September.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now