The Rev’d Canon Nicholas Court – erstwhile Rector of the Northwest Charge (now retired)
I was trained for the Priesthood at Chichester Theological College, and was ordained Deacon in July 1988, and Priest exactly a year later. Prior to this I worked for 12 years in the world of London-based auction houses, finally as a specialist in the Oriental Works of Art department of Christie’s in South Kensington.
In 1984 I left secular employment, and went to live in the Netherlands (at Flushing) and then Belgium (at Antwerp) to take up posts as Chaplain’s Assistant with what is now known as The Missions to Seafarers. This one of the oldest of Anglican missionary societies, and provides both practical and spiritual ministry and support for seafarers from across the world when they are in port – and often a very long way from home. I then had a further year working in the Social Service Unit of St Martin-in-the-Fields, and then with the St Mungo Community Trust as a member of staff on one of their bale hostels.
I returned to London to be ordained, serving my first three years in the parish of Golders Green (northwest London); a further three years in Westbury-on-Trym (Bristol Diocese); then two years as Priest Vicar at Llandaff Cathedral (Church in Wales); and then as Vicar of a parish in the ex-mining town of Pontypridd (where rugby is the established religion!) for a further six years. Bishop Mark licensed me as a Priest in this Diocese on 6th January 2009, where I remained until my retirement in June 2020.
In 2012, I was placed in the stall of St Maelrubha in Inverness Cathedral. He was one of those missionary Celtic Saints of the so-called Dark Ages, and in the course of his wanderings, he founded a monastery at Applecross on the northwest seaboard of Scotland.
Apart from God, my wife and family, I still have room for other loves. One of these is fly-fishing for trout on the many lochs, rivers and burns which pepper the stunning landscape of the northwest Highlands. If this can be combined with a walk into the hills, then that puts a cherry on the top of the fishing trip. I have to confess to at least one obsession, which comes in the shape of collecting 18th century English blue & white porcelain. This obsession will become immediately evident to anyone who has visited our home! I am also passionate about where I live, the beauty of which is (to my mind and in my experience) simply unsurpassed.