Biography of Fr Roderick Leece
Appointed 13th Rector of St George, Hanover Square
Born in 1959 Roderick Leece comes from an Army family and was educated at Sherborne School, and read Music at Wadham College, Oxford, after which he spent a year as assistant Lay Chaplain of St. Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham. He trained for the priesthood at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield, and read Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds, where Bishop David Jenkins was then Professor. During his last year at theological college, he also gained an ARCM in piano performing.
Ordained deacon at Portsmouth in 1985 and priested in 1986, he served as curate of St. Mary's Portsea, both at the parish church, and also as priest in charge of St. Wilfrid's, Portsea. He became involved locally in organising ecumenical vigils for persecuted Christians in the USSR, highlighting the case of Irina Ratushinkaya and other refusniks. The ecumenical perspective and imperative has coloured his ministry ever since.
Since 1991 he has been Vicar of St. Bartholomew, Stamford Hill in the Deanery of Hackney and Diocese of London. It is an area which is home to a large community of Hasidic Jews. He has been an active member of the Council of Christians and Jews since1992. In 2000 he was appointed Ecumenical Adviser to the Bishop of Stepney, and an Examining Chaplain in 2001, and devised an annual 'pilgrimage day' for East London Church leaders to various projects with an ecumenical dimension. The Bishop of Taejon, South Korea, invited Roderick to become his commissary in 2002, since when he has served as a member of the Korean Mission Partnership.
He has arranged regular parish pilgrimages to places such as the Holy Land, Santiago di Compostela, Rome and Assisi, and elsewhere. He is a keen pianist, performing piano concertos in his schooldays, chamber music and conducting various ensembles at Oxford, and recently has played mainly as an accompanist. Roderick enjoys opera of all forms and periods, but also jazz, and his father still plays in his own jazz band. He has three brothers, one of whom lives in Korea and another in Japan, and he enjoys travelling, and seeing his many nieces and nephew as and when duties allow.