Boswell to leave Croydon Minster after 21 years’ service

Croydon’s Establishment is about to undergo significant change, with three leading figures associated with the Whitgift Foundation leaving their jobs in the next few months.

Canon Colin Boswell: Vicar of Croydon defends "heroic" teachers

Canon Colin Boswell: 21 years as Vicar of Croydon

The headmasters of two of the Foundation’s large independent schools are both standing down, Trinity’s Mark Bishop at the end of this term, Christopher Barnett leaving Whitgift in a year’s time after 26 years in post.

But before that, Canon Colin Boswell will be leaving the Minster later this month, after 21 years as the Vicar of Croydon.

Ordained as a priest in 1976, Boswell has spent all his career in the Church of England in south London, at churches in Tooting, St Helier, Sydenham and Caterham, before coming to Croydon in 1995, where he has taken on special responsibilities around the Whitgift schools and seen the parish church become Croydon Minster.

“No words of appreciation can sum up the debt of gratitude the church owes to Father Colin for his ministry in at the Minster and more widely in Croydon, and previously in other parts of the diocese, especially in Caterham,” the Bishop of Croydon, Jonathan Clark, said in a glowing tribute.

“Colin has demonstrated throughout his ministry the classic Anglican combination of a pastoral passion, a gentle self-sacrifice in serving God and serving God’s church. His own deep and inclusive faith has strengthened and rekindled the faith of others, and has welcomed those of other faiths and none to work together for the common good.

Croydon's Parish Church has become Croydon Minster under Canon Boswell's stewardship

Croydon’s Parish Church has become Croydon Minster under Canon Boswell’s stewardship

“Colin has been an outstanding Vicar of Croydon for 21 years, and it would be impossible to list all of his achievements, but the redesignation of the Parish Church as Croydon Minister must be singled out, and the ministry of the Minster in supporting the wider work of the church.

“Similarly, to list all that Colin has done for the wider community would be impossible, but I must note the Minster’s commitment to the poorest and most marginalised in our community. The Whitgift Foundation, and in particular Whitgift School, have valued Colin’s care and wisdom for many years as Chaplain and members of many committees,” said the Bishop.

“Anyone who volunteers twice to be an Area Dean has an obvious commitment to the wider church as well as to their parish: I am personally particularly grateful to Colin for the help he gave to the community at St Jude, Thornton Heath, at a very difficult time.

“He leaves Croydon with our thanks and blessing, knowing that he will continue to be a blessing to those whom he serves in the future.”

Although past the conventional pension age, Father Boswell is not retiring: he is moving across south London once again, to St Augustine’s in Honor Oak Park, and where he will serve as chaplain at St Dunstan’s College.

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