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West Hampstead meet your new postmaster - it’s the local vicar!

Father Andrew Cain at the post office. Picture: Polly Hancock. Father Andrew Cain at the post office. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Friday, August 8, 2014
5:00 PM

Father Andrew Foreshew-Cain was the second priest in the UK to enter a gay marriage – but he believes he is the first to become a postmaster.

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The 50-year-old, vicar of St James church, in Sherriff Road, West Hampstead, has been balancing his religious duties with the responsibilities of running a post office since opening a branch in the church last month.

Last Friday, Hampstead MP Glenda Jackson visited the new post office, which is accompanied by a new café, gift shop, delicatessen and soft play area, to mark its opening.

It follows the closure of the former post office in West End Lane, which prompted Father Cain to come forward and offer the church’s facilities as a replacement.

The priest has a team of four staff members who answer to him but he is yet to serve behind the counter, as he awaits full postmaster training.

But it hasn’t stopped him popping into the branch at every available moment to check customers are happy.

“It is the summer so there is less to do in the church,” he said. “At the moment I’m a bit like an anxious parent and can’t really stay away from the post office. It’s my baby.

“I love it, I love being here. It really lifts my heart. It’s so nice seeing this building full of people and a community at work.”

All profits from the post office, open from Monday to Saturday between 8am and 6pm, as well as the new café and other facilities will be invested back into the community through new charity the Sherriff Centre, which will run carer and toddler groups, older person support and debt advice from the church.

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