On Assignment: Father Michael's Retirement / by Martin Siggers


A few weeks ago I was off on a trip down to St Bartholomew’s Church in Sydenham, London, to cover a very special occasion. The vicar, Father Michael Kingston, was retiring after a mightily impressive 24 years serving the parish, and I was lucky enough to be asked to record his final service for posterity.

Although I’ve worked a lot in churches, it’s normally for weddings, which are mostly a very different affair and which demand different points of focus. All the tough parts of working in such an environment remain though - limited lighting, lots of people, and the need to keep your head down and not get in the way of the actual important stuff happening. There was an extra twist this time however, in the form of the service taking place on an autumn evening, which meant rapidly changing light coming through the big stained glass windows.

Despite the difficulties, I’m very happy with the images which came out, and delighted I got the chance to be a part of a unique celebration. Best wishes to Father Michael and his family on a well-earned retirement.