My West Hampstead: Vicar wants to see action taken on ‘dreadful’ West End Lane
08:00 30 April 2014
Father Andrew Cain is vicar of St James’ church, in West Hampstead, and St Mary’s with All Souls, in Kilburn. He has lived in West Hampstead for 16 years and plans to marry his fiancé in June.
What brought you to West Hampstead?
My work – I was licensed as Priest in Charge of St Mary’s and St James 16 years ago – on April Fool’s Day, which I think was a joke by the Bishop at the time. He was very traditional and I am anything but – though I hasten to add he was always lovely to me.
You have a day off to spend as you wish in the area, what would you get up to?
An ideal day for me would be time at the gym and then pottering amongst my plants, with my two cats keeping me company and my chickens clucking in the background. In the evening – dinner with my husband-to-be and a movie.
What makes West Hampstead a special place to live?
Having been the local vicar for so long I can’t walk down the street without seeing someone I know, and I often end up having a chat and catching up. It’s a great community and very friendly and safe.
Is there anything about West Hampstead which you would like to see changed or improved?
West End Lane is a dreadful, dangerous, rat run of a road. I wish we could somehow cut down the traffic a bit. We also need more bins!
Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?
Definitely Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A true giant of a man (though rather short in person) and a great saint of the Church. Mind you, he did threaten to eat me. I was working as a Bishop’s Chaplain and was introduced to him by my Bishop. He looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said ‘I eat Chaplains!’ in his very distinctive voice and roared with laughter.
If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?
Loved God and did right by His people. I hope!
Father Andrew Cain was in conversation with Tim Lamden