(L-R) The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, Revd Leon Catallo, Charlotte Catallo and the Revd Canon Dr Geoff Bayliss. Photo: Keith Waters

New Priest in Charge at All Saints, Headington, for the first time in more than half a century

The congregation and community of All Saints, Headington, have welcomed their new priest – the first new minister to lead the church in 64 years!

Speaking of the new appointment, church warden, James Larminie said,

“In the 18 months since the previous vicar, the Revd JE Cocke, took his last service and moved to Dorset for a very well-earned retirement, all churches have had to adapt and change to the unusual circumstances that the COVID-19 epidemic caused. For us, this has been especially so, being in a vacancy.

“Established members and several new members of the church have helped us develop positively in many ways, and we have enjoyed modest growth in the congregation even in these difficult times. We have been blessed with some excellent visiting preachers, among whom has been Leon, our new minister. So Leon is no stranger to us, and he has been a good friend to us in various ways for a while. This adds to the joy we feel about his appointment.”

The Revd Leon Catallo was ordained in Exeter Cathedral in 2015 and served his curacy at the Minster Church of St Andrew, Plymouth. He is married to Charlotte and their daughter, Elanor, was born on Christmas Day 2019. They have been friends of All Saints since arriving in Headington in 2018. Leon has been associate minister at St Ebbe’s in Headington. Before his ordination, he worked in the city of London and achieved degrees in both natural sciences and theology.

Speaking about his new role, Leon says,

“It is a huge privilege and responsibility to minister at All Saints through such a significant period in its history. We’d like to thank the congregation and community for the warmest of welcomes that they’ve extended to us as a family. And also for their patience with little Elanor’s vociferous participation in worship!

“We are thrilled to be part of such a joyous, faithful and courageous church family.”

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, who will be licensing Leon on Tuesday 6 July, said of his appointment,

“This is an exciting time for All Saints as Leon and his family join the community, continuing the legacy of Revd Cocke, whilst also bringing fresh ideas and passion to the role. Leon’s three-year appointment as interim minister represents a significant investment in helping to address the pastoral and missional needs of the parish.

“I am sure that Leon will continue to build on the strong foundations laid by Revd Cocke and I look forward to seeing and hearing all about the positive growth of the church in Headington.”