The Revd Canon Dr Leslie Nathaniel (61) is to be the next Chaplain of the Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket in Hamburg. He is expected to take up his appointment in September 2016.
Born and brought up in South India, Leslie Nathaniel worked as a church manager and a missionary in both India and southern Germany before his ordination in 2001 as a deacon in the Church of South India (Diocese of Nandyal). He was priested in 2002. Following a post with the Church Mission Society in London, Father Leslie served as World Mission and Ecumenical Officer for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg, Germany. In 2009, after obtaining his PhD in theology, he became the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Deputy Secretary for Ecumenical Affairs and European Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity. He was also Moderator of the Assembly Planning Committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) from 2010 to 2013 and currently serves on its governing board. He is furthermore a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.
Father Leslie brings profound experience of ecumenical and interfaith issues to his new post. In his current work for the Church of England he focuses on relations with other European churches, including the Orthodox churches, Nordic Lutheran churches and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) with which the Anglican Church of St Thomas Becket has close ties.
A fluent German speaker, Father Leslie is also a keen musician and a cricket enthusiast. He is married to Julie, a German, who was also ordained in the Church of South India and currently is an honorary assistant priest in the Anglican Church in Stuttgart. They have two grown-up children.
Archbishop’s International Ecumenical Secretary to move to Hamburg
Father Leslie is currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s International Ecumenical Secretary and European Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity. He is a canon of the Church of England Diocese in Europe.
St. Thomas Becket has existed in Hamburg since 1612
St Thomas Becket Church is an Anglican church in the Church of England Diocese in Europe, which stretches from Portugal to Russia. The parish has existed since 1612, the “Englische Kirche” being one of the first non-Lutheran churches to be permitted to establish itself in Hamburg as a concession to the Merchant Adventurers, the English traders’ guild in the City. In 2012, the church celebrated its 400th anniversary. The present church building, neo-classical in style, has existed since 1838. Today the church has about 130 members on the electoral roll and typically 90–110 regular worshippers of all ages and many nationalities each Sunday.