The Revd Mischa Richards

mischa1Fr Mischa Richards was ordained Deacon in Petertide 2013, and is serving his title in the Diocese of Chichester. He was the first pastoral assistant to work in Hornsey.

Being a Pastoral Assistant was a rich gift. There was a huge amount to open up my horizons. It was a bit of a surprise because there was so much more to the role than I expected. It gave me a great appreciation and love of the Church and what it does in the local community.

I lived in a very comfortable flat in Crouch End. The parishioners often cooked lovely things for me and it was a very happy and hospitable environment.I loved the liturgy in the Church and the ministry in schools, especially doing assemblies. On one occasion we did a great dramatic re-enactment of Pentecost.

After studying theology at university I was worried whether I could adapt what I had learnt to the parish. But I learnt the courage and the confidence to start using my gifts and resources in a visible, public ministry. Learning to be a person for others was a new challenge. I had to learn how to bring people’s cares and troubles to God in my own prayers.

Being in London is very exciting. The Parish itself is really multi-cultural and it has all the blessings of a rich diversity. It was fascinating to see the relationship of the Christian faith with all the different cultures and nationalities we encountered.

It was good to engage with neighbouring parishes of a different tradition to our own. This gives a real vibrancy of perspective on how God’s love is brought to a world city. I’d definitely recommend being a Pastoral Assistant. For me, the role allowed me to move immediately into the line of work I wanted to do. It was motivating, hands-on and really enriching. My spiritual life took on a shape and a body through the Daily Office and the sacramental life of the Church. It became deeply relational because all our prayers spilled out into the life of the wider community.

After finishing at Hornsey I went to train for the priesthood at St Stephen’s House, Oxford.