John, who is to join the clergy team as St James's as Associate Rector, writes: "At the start of Advent 2012, I first joined the congregation at St James's. I was a human rights lawyer and university lecturer, fresh from six months in Alcoholics Anonymous, which had triggered a massive Christian conversion. I arrived bewildered by what was happening to me, awkward and self-conscious, and kept bursting into tears whenever the Eucharist was being celebrated. And St James's welcomed me with open arms. I started confirmation preparation, which was fantastic, but I had a nagging sense there was something more. Within a couple of months I went to Lucy and blurted out 'I think I'm meant to become a priest!' Instead of laughing and telling me it would wear off (as I imagined she would), she wanted to know more about the story of my life and what I knew of God and we began ordination discernment. Since then I've spent a year as a parish assistant in Manchester; three years living with the monks in Mirfield, West Yorkshire; and three years serving as a curate in Chelsea. It's a glorious surprise to be coming back to St James's as a priest and I look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. As I began training, important people told me that St James's Piccadilly wasn't very 'representative' of the Church of England. Seven years later, I can confidently affirm they are entirely correct! But I wish it wasn't like that so I am coming back to immerse myself in St James's and its people and learn all about the hidden wiring and secret ingredients in the hope I might carry some of that forward into whatever God has in store for me next."