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Curate to Canon

IT IS not often that a curate gets made an honorary canon of a cathedral without having been in charge of a parish of his own. The Revd Ivelaw Bowman ( pictured, second from left) has been an OLM (ordained local minister) since he was priested in 1998.

He has been doing “highly influential work”, says the Bishop of Southwark, Dr Tom Butler.

A retired civil servant, Mr Bowman was born in Guyana, and confirmed an Anglican at an early age, before coming to the UK in 1960. He was a Reader for several years before he was encouraged to become ordained, and now he works with the police in Lambeth as a member of Operation Trident, dedicated to reducing gun crime. His work, says Lee Jasper, senior adviser to the Mayor of London, has often been “unacknowledged, and sometimes dangerous”.

Mr Bowman learned all about racial discrimination during his early days in London, in churches where his family was pointedly not welcomed; but he grew up seeing his father doing work in the community, and always felt he should make his own contribution. That has included escorting parents to identify their murdered children. “The urban terrorists will not shock me or hard-working members of our community into silence,” he says.

His Vicar, Canon Andrew Grant, tells me that Mr Bowman’s priestly ministry is a big part of his life at St Andrew’s, Stockwell Green. There was a crowd in Southwark Cathedral to see him installed.


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