Alan Everett is based at St Clement’s church, just below Grenfell Tower. In 1985, he was ordained to a parish in Lancashire – at the point when an entire industrial economy based on the mills and mining was being closed down.
After a spell as a university chaplain at London university, he became the vicar of London Fields, where he stayed for 17 years. During that time, parts of Hackney experienced significant gentrification, but the majority of the population still live on estates.
He has been the vicar of his current parish since 2010. His poem about the Grenfell Tower fire – 14 June 2017 – was published in The Guardian on 11 September. Besides writing (mainly poetry) he also paints. His most recent solo exhibition was in St Stephen’s Walbrook, in the City of London.
He has discovered over the years that there is often a fine line to be drawn between speaking on behalf of others, and speaking instead of others. In his writing, as well in his ministry as a priest, he tries to ensure he stays on the right side of that line.