Introducing our Spiritual Director

The Rev'd Keith McNicol



Spiritual Director for Canterbury Cursillo


I was born in Edinburgh. Though we moved to England when I was thirteen, I still have my Scottish accent. I left school with a singularly undistinguished academic record and had various jobs in London and Gloucestershire for some three years, perhaps the most significant of which was with the Camphill Village Trust, an organisation that cares for adults who are learning disabled.


I attended Westminster Teacher Training College in Oxford for three years until 1969. During this time the Good Lord decided I should offer for ordination. A good Presbyterian, I became an ordinand at Westminster College, Cambridge, one of the Presbyterian Church’s theological colleges. In 1972 the United Reformed Church came into being from the then Presbyterian Church of England and the Congregational Church in England and Wales. Much of my spare time was spent in youth work, choral singing and sailing. But there was a niggle. Was this the right church for me?


My first congregation was in Bethnal Green, East London. One day Kirsty walked into the church smiling broadly. Three years later in 1977 we were married in Winchester. We have two grown up sons, both of whom live in London.


I looked after three congregations in the United Reformed Church until 1992 and gained a couple of degrees along the way. In 1991 a friend asked me what I hoped for my future. I told him that even in my twenties I had actually thought I wasn’t quite in the right place. I was very interested in the Church of England. He told me to go and see a Bishop!


1992 saw me ordained Deacon at Canterbury Cathedral and I was priested in 1993. When Curate at All Saints’ Whitstable, Kirsty and I agreed that if I ever reached retirement we should return to Whitstable to live. We made our Cursillo in 1993. My first Anglican parish was in the Diocese of Chichester. There Bishop Lindsay Urwin invited me to become the first Spiritual Director of Chichester Diocese Cursillo. We returned to Canterbury Diocese in 2000 and I was invited to become the Canterbury Diocese Spiritual Director in 2003!


Kirsty and I continued to enjoy Diocesan Cursillo events. We moved to Whitstable on my retirement in 2012. I was very surprised and honoured to be asked to be Spiritual Director of Canterbury Cursillo again!


Cursillo has been extremely important to both of us for our faith and spiritual journeys and Kirsty was Lay Director in Canterbury Diocese for three years. I feel privileged and delighted that I can serve the Church as SD again and I look forward to seeing old friends and making new friends who are keen to explore our faith in Christ through prayer, study and action.


Keith McNicol

February 2017