September 23 2014 Latest news:
Peter Apps, Reporter
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Sharing a cup of tea with members of his flock is a well-established part of any vicar’s job.
But the congregation at one Marylebone church are in for an unusual treat, as their vicar launches his own luxury ethical tea business.
Reverend Ed Flint of St Mary’s Church, York Street, launched his company Flint and Co, also known as ‘Vicar’s Tea’, on Monday.
The company will sell eight varieties of loose leaf tea sourced from members of the Ethical Tea Partnership, who ensure good working conditions for tea workers around the world.
He is importing teas from Poland, Egypt and South Africa, and offering flavours including Jasmine Pearl, Indian Spiced Chai, and the flagship blend ‘Vicar’s Breakfast.’
Mr Flint, 32, said: “I’ve always loved tea and bemoaned the fact that there was so little good quality tea around.
“We have got a couple of good local cafés to stock it, we’re selling to friends and family and we’ll just see where it goes from there. It’s only going to be a small business I don’t want to take over the world.
“It’s very important to me to make sure it’s all ethically sourced, I want to make sure our business has a positive impact on the world. We’re giving 10 per cent of the profits away to help people in tea producing countries.”
Mr Flint has been reverend at St Mary’s for six years, after moving to London from Oxfordshire.
He found his faith at the Bryanston Square church and says he became a vicar “reluctantly” after feeling called to the job.
The father-of-two is confident his new business will not get in the way of his pastoral, or domestic, duties.
He said: “My family are right behind me, especially Hannah, my wife, who is really the brains of the operation.
“I want to make sure I have time to be a vicar, which is obviously my number one job.
“I intend to keep the two completely separate- we’re still going to serve Clipper at the end of services!”